Food & Drink
‘Pay what you want’ for coffee and Butterholic pastries this Christmas Eve
2 months ago
A city centre coffee shop is asking customers to ‘pay what you want’ for a drink and a pastry this Christmas Eve with all the takings going to two charities.
Coffi on Pilgrim Street, just off Hardman Street, is donating coffee and Butterholic is giving its pastries for the day.
All money raised will be split between international children’s aid organisation UNICEF and The Whitechapel Centre which supports homeless people in Liverpool.
Michael Davies, who runs Coffi with his partner Natalie Southern, says this will be the third year they’ve had a dedicated charity day before Christmas.
“We opened in spring 2021 and every Christmas Eve since then we’ve done a ‘pay what you want’,” he says. “People just pay as little or as much as they want, or they can, for a cup of coffee and a pastry and then everything we take goes 50-50 between those two charities.
“This year we’ve chosen UNICEF and the Whitechapel Centre because we try and mix it up and have one larger charity with a wider reach and one more local charity. In the past we’ve done it with The Florrie and Fans Supporting Foodbanks.
“Both Butterholic and ourselves cover all the cost of the coffee, the pastries and the staffing, and then whatever we raise we donate. Previously we’ve raised around £900 to split between the two charities which is amazing in a day.”
Michael and Nat opened Coffi in a converted grade II listed coach house in the Georgian Quarter in April 2021.
“This is our first venue, and what we wanted to do was to focus on quality so we only buy fully-traceable, fully-sourced coffee that has a direct line all the way back to the farmer so everyone’s getting paid fairly,” he explains.
“We wanted it to be more than just opening another coffee shop, so we set out to improve the lives of those around us. That includes the people who work with us – we let everyone choose their own rota and their own hours, we offer four-day working weeks and we pay above the real living wage – and we always pay a good price for a good product.
“It’s really resonated with people in Liverpool, they appreciate that focus on quality, so we’ve had success from that. It’s been a labour of love and a challenge because we have no external backers, we’re completely independent, but it’s the kind of place me and Nat wanted to go to and luckily other people like it as well.”
Coffi and Butterholic launched within months of each other and the coffee shop has always stocked their gorgeous pastries. They’ve grown their businesses in parallel too. As Butterholic opened Lunko off Lark Lane this year, Coffi expanded, fitting out its upper floor to increase the seating capacity from eight to 35.
“That’s been massive for us,” says Michael. “People can stay longer and we welcome laptops upstairs as well so we get a really nice mix and a nice atmosphere. It also means for something like our pay what you can we can accommodate a lot more sit-in customers.”
Coffi will be open as usual on Sunday, from 10am to 4pm, and Michael is hoping to attract last-minute shoppers as well as regulars.
“People enjoy giving, and obviously they get a coffee and a pastry back, but there’s no pressure and it’s not intrusive. Someone could come in and it could be just like any other day, they buy a coffee and they’re none the wiser about the money going to charity.
“We’re aware, like everyone is, that there’s a cost of living crisis and money’s tight especially at Christmas, so it’s just an opportunity for people to give a little and get something back from it.
“We see it as the least we can do, a couple of times a year to have something like this.”