Tandem Invites Customers to Join on a Journey to Sustainability

“Enough is enough,” says Will Pratt, co-owner of Tandem Coffee Roaster. “Time to try something weird.”

The Portland, Maine, coffee shop had long offered a 25-cent discount to customers who brought in their own cups, but found minimal impact from program. This week, the company is taking a new approach. All drink prices have officially been lowered by 25 cents, and now customers who need a single-use compostable cup will be charged 25 cents. Tandem hopes that the program will save 36,000 cups from ending up in landfills this year.

The team was inspired by Portland’s Grocery Bag Ordinance that requires stores to charge customers five cents per single-use bag.

“I found the ordinance to be extremely effective. It obviously isn’t about saving five cents,” says Pratt, “but having to answer ‘yes’ to whether or not you need a bag is kind of demoralizing and lead[s] me to fill the back seat of my car with tote bags.”

To help encourage customers to make the change to reusable cups, Tandem is offering all ceramic mugs for $8, and $10 off their Joco Cups through April 9.