bannerPlayFranchise News

Restaurant Technology Guys: Creating a Sustainable Future for Coffee: An Interview with One BIGG Island in Space Founders

The founders of BIGGBY® COFFEE aren’t just interested in providing consumers with delicious beverages. They’re on a mission to make coffee farming more sustainable and equitable.

By Erica InmanStaff Writer
SPONSORED 3:15PM 05/21/24

Michelle and Bob Fish, co-founders of One BIGG Island in Space and BIGGBY® COFFEE, are on a mission to create a more equitable and sustainable coffee industry. Bob and Michelle have traveled extensively to coffee farms around the globe, and have been inspired by the best and most ethical practices they’ve encountered. They continue to advocate for direct trade approaches that sidestep unnecessary middlemen and are working hard to safeguard coffee's future amidst challenges brought on by climate change. 

In this episode of “Restaurant Technology Guys,” Bob discussed the threats of climate change and market dynamics on coffee farming, and how BIGGBY® COFFEE’s direct trade model supports producers and combat these challenges. Bob explained how removing the middleman creates a fairer transaction for coffee farmers.

"Every time that coffee touches another hand, the price goes up a little bit more,” Bob said. “So when we eliminate those, we get a savings and what we do with that savings is push it down to the producer or the farmer."

Michelle elaborated on their values-driven approach to sourcing coffee, emphasizing sustainability and community impact. The couple shared insights from visiting farms worldwide, highlighting the profound human connections they encountered and the need for a more equitable coffee industry. 

Enter One BIGG Island in Space. The Fishes started the organization with the ambitious aim of revolutionizing the coffee industry. With a vision to transition to 100% farm-direct sourcing by 2028, they aim to create a positive impact on both people and the planet, with a focus on regenerative farming practices.

“There are all kinds of ways to farm coffee, and the cheapest way to do it is to cut down all the trees, pollute your water streams and suck every last thing you can get out of the soil,” Michelle said. “That is the cheapest way to grow coffee. It really takes both investment and intentionality to do it differently than that. We were trying to find those farmers that could really be a guiding light in their communities and then support them.”

The organization got its name from the idea that from space, Earth looks like one island, on its own — borders are invisible.

"We are truly one big island in space and all of us are connected to each other and we have way more in common than we ever have different between us," Michelle said. 

To watch the full episode, click here

To find out more information on costs to buy this franchise, please visit