If you’ve got five Olympic Gold medals between three of you and one of which is still riding in the professional peloton for one of the biggest cycling teams in the world, what do you do when the whole country goes in to Lockdown? Launch a new company selling coffee, of course.
Callum Skinner, Philip Hindes and Owain Doull launched 5 Rings Coffee at the height of UK Lockdown even though it seemed like a strange time to launch a new brand, they noticed that internet sales were only on the up and decided to take full advantage of the situation. It seems slightly ironic that a team of three who came up with the concept of 5 Rings while travelling the globe in pursuit of gold medals, launched when you weren’t even allowed to leave your home unless for one hours of exercise or shop for essential food.
To think that these three were putting their face to a brand would be wrong, there are no staff other than Phil, Callum and Owain and there is no external support. Philip Hindes sources and tastes the coffee to make sure it’s right for the brand while Owain Doull is the creative director leaving Callum Skinner as the Director of Operations.
Cycling and coffee go hand in hand, it’s something you stop for have pre-ride and hope gives you that extra edge over your competitors, but it seems that 5 Rings Coffee has taken on more than just that. the company, as with most new companies, is evolving, changing and it’s turning out that 5 Rings seems to be more than just coffee, “It’s evolving into something bigger. I think that was inevitable as our customers will know how much our personalities are intertwined with the brand. We aren’t just lending our name to a brand; this is our project. That probably lead to our most recent product launch, Break The Chain, a Costa Rican single origin where we donate 50% of the profits to Andy’s Man Club.” says Callum Skinner.
Andy’s Man Club is run up and down the country, launched after Andy Roberts, at the age of 23, took his own life, leaving his daughter and family behind. A truly saddening story which happens all too often, on average one man will take their own life every two hours in the UK. The notion is simple, to get men talking. You do not have to be suicidal or to have mental health issues they just want to get people talking. Something which resonates with Callum who’s own mental health has been well documented.
On working with AMC and what they do Callum said: “I’ve always found speaking about my experience with depression effective medicine for my recovery. I completely understand and value what AMC offers to its members. As well as speaking out and helping others directly, I wanted to do something more broadly to help people. Luke Amber, the founder of AMC, really helped me deal with unhelpful comments. I was of the opinion that the “just talk” narrative should be approached with extreme caution and the tagline is too flippant. Some people aren’t kind, and I’d suffered a couple of times. He challenged my opinion and said, “if you fall off your bike you get back on, the only way you’ll get better so you have to keep going”. I agree with his cycle coaching and life advice there!”
So what next for the brand launched by the gold medalling winning trio? “Were at a bit of a pivotal moment, we have several ideas in the pipeline. In the short term, we’d like to have four coffees in our offering. We’ve already selected our next one.” In the long term, I hope that we can see Phillip Hindes add more golds to his tally in Tokyo, whenever that may be.