Chester coffee company wins university award


A former PhD student at the University of Chester has won an award for his ethical and environmentally friendly coffee company.

Henry Sidsaph, the founder of Miténgo Coffee, was presented with the Forresters award at a special ceremony at the De Gaulle Brasserie on the university’s Queen’s Park Campus. The award, presented by attorneys from our Liverpool office, has enabled Henry to begin securing the trade marks needed to give his business a strong start.

Miténgo Coffee was started after Henry went on a volunteer visit to Malawi in 2011 and he heard about the large levels of deforestation. “While visiting the Nkhata Bay district, I witnessed the amazing forest conservation work of the charity Ripple Africa,” he said. “To date, Ripple Africa has helped protect over 130 of Kandoli Forest and planted over 10 million trees.”

“Through sales of our coffee, we aim to support Ripple Africa in planting an even greater number of trees, and conserve more existing forest area. Also, our supply chain starts with farmers who receive a fair price for their labour, which is well above the cost of production. At the core of our coffee is the drive to bring people and nature together, we do this through great-tasting coffee and the joy of tree planting, conservation and education.”

The award was presented to Henry as part of the Venture Programme at the university, which supports and develops the next generation of entrepreneurs. The award-winning programme gives students the skills, confidence, knowledge and connections to start a business or to pursue a freelance career.

Henry, who lives in Chester, added: “I was overjoyed to receive the Forresters award and it was totally unexpected. By securing trade marks for Mintengo Coffee it means that when I go to pitch for work with big clients, farm shops and cafes it gives me that professionalism and integrity, and it protects the business. The team at Forresters has been so supportive and ensured I will get the right protection to help the business grow and develop.”

Kate Cruse, a senior associate in Liverpool, has been giving talks for the last five years to students at the University of Chester on the importance of protecting intellectual property.  Kate said: “Every year I am astounded by the wonderful quality of the projects Venture Programme students showcase at the University of Chester. Henry’s project is particularly interesting since it combines a great product with a unique brand and a fantastic environmental action to boot. Forresters is honoured to assist Henry in developing his company and assisting the Venture Programme.”

Kate Bingle, entrepreneurship assistant at the university, said: “We are so pleased for Henry that he was successful in winning the Forresters Award, which will enable him to acquire the required trade marks to give his fantastic company the security it needs.  The awards were open to current students and those that had graduated in the last two years.  Through the Venture Programme, we have welcomed visitors from the world of business, including Kate from Forresters, that have spoken to students about how to create a strong business or become a successful freelancer.  It is fantastic to see that Henry has taken on all this important advice and information and he has gone on to establish an award-winning company.”