Jason and Ash, originating from New Zealand, moved to the U.K. in 2014 after attending a couple European festivals. At the time they noticed a lack of ice being sold at festivals (y’know the cubes of frozen water that make your beers cold) and after a few intoxicated conversations and a few more sober ones, the guys decided to set up a festival pop-up stall - The Shed. Unfortunately, between the weather and Britain's love for room temperature beverages there was not a lot of demand for ice. It was a quick lesson in how not to start a business.
Never one to let a set back ruin a good time, a plan was hatched to introduce coffee to The Shed, thus kick starting the coffee adventure. A two year immersion into the glitter covered, spandex wearing, dragon chasing U.K. festival community was quickly followed by a south-London pop-up cocktail bar. Always searching for the next idea, it was around this time the pair visited Edinburgh to see some friends. Here, they stumbled across an old roaster in the corner of a dusty workshop at a one-of-a-kind Scottish Bakery (check out Woodlea Stables if you're ever in Inverkeithing, Scotland), and the idea that would become Common was born.
Jason and Ash wanted Common to be something different, something that was, uhhh, a bit of a festival... in the sense of bringing people together, of course! But they couldn't do it alone, they needed a creative genius and coffee pro. Cue Jess the designer and Katelyn the coffee expert. Without them, Common would be nothing more than burnt coffee in brown bags.
It's been three years since the first festival with the Ice Shed. In that time, there's been mistakes mixed in with successes, a lot of important lessons and plenty of good times. And this is only the beginning of the Common story, there is certainly more to come.
Jason & Ash - "Our vision is to use coffee to make a positive impact on people's lives"
Jason is an adventurer that dreams big. He started his career with outdoor leadership in New Zealand where he paddled more rivers and tramped more tracks than you can imagine. Whether he is dancing in a forest or tracking down the the best environmentally friendly packaging, his love for nature and the outdoors is always present.
Jason is the engine room of Common; his action-oriented approach keeps us moving forward. Though at times he probably feels like leading a group of 12 year olds is easier than managing the team, his positivity and hard working attitude acts as the glue that holds everything together.
Jason hopes that one day Common will be a leading example of sustainable values and company culture.
Ash (or Ashley when he's in trouble), is our numbers guy. While he still dabbles in the corporate world, Ash possesses a drive to challenge the way traditional businesses operate.
Whether it's business planning in a festival field, financial modelling in the back of an old orange bus, or measuring lengths and banging nails, Ash's attention to detail keeps us on the right track (just don't ask him to drill any holes).
Ash's stature (literally) creates an inclusive environment at Common and is a calming figure to those around him. His dream for Common is to become a business that exemplifies what it means to be an ethical business.