West Worthing coffee shop goes disposable cup-free

A West Worthing coffee shop has made the brave decision to go disposable cup-free and its owner hopes other coffee shops will follow suit.

South By West, a craft coffee shop and microbakery in South Street, by the railway station, now only serves customers who bring their own reusable cup into the shop.

And if you forget to bring one, you can rent one at the shop, use one of their repurposed jars, or have one of their free donated cups.

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Owner Kelly Davies said: “We are the first coffee shop in Worthing to take this step and we feel it’s important to stop using disposable cups due to their appalling effect on plastics pollution.”

Staff outside the coffee shop in West Worthing. Picture: Steve Robards

The 46-year-old, who lives in Bath Road with her husband and three children, opened the coffee shop three years ago and said she was keen to be cup-free from the get go.

“I didn’t think Worthing was ready for it then and it was a step too far – but a couple of weeks ago I thought I would take a deep breath and do it and it has been so well received.”

She said she was worried people would stop coming, but the opposite has happened.

“People are so pleased about it. There has been no dip in sales, so I am feeling quite confident about it. And if other coffee shops can be brave, we could work towards becoming a disposable cup-free town – that would be awesome.”

Staff outside the coffee shop in West Worthing. Picture: Steve Robards

Kelly’s background is in breadmaking and she is part of the Real Bread movement – a campaign that aims to increase the enjoyment, production and consumption of bread made with natural ingredients, appropriate fermentation and no adulterants.

She and her ‘fantastic’ staff bake real bread at the craft coffee shop and microbakery, along with Swedish cinnamon buns and scandinavian bakes, which are all vegan.

Kelly said reusable coffee cups were the future – and ‘if we can all remember to take our own bags shopping, we can remember to bring our cup’.

South By West has been running as takeaway-only during the pandemic.