Common Life roasts coffee as part of the Buncton Manor community, investing in marginalised people in the UK and abroad. In this way, our coffee is about reimagining every stage of the coffee supply chain to be more inclusive, just and interdependent. We also produce extraordinarily good coffee, thanks to savvy buying and roasting by a team with decades of experience in speciality coffee.
Buncton Manor is a shared house and stable yard at the foot of the South Downs, offering a place to live and community work to people in need of support. Both of these projects sit within the One Church Brighton charity umbrella, linking with the therapeutic project Rock Farm, the Pro Baristas training school and Brighton’s Florence Road Market as well.
Throughout the charity life of One Church, our work with marginalised people has repeatedly prompted a dream of true community housing to support a diverse group of people into new kinds of flourishing. With the help of The Wiston Estate, The Hub and the YMCA Downslink Group, Buncton Manor Farm came online in 2020 for a mix of temporary and permanent residents.
Meanwhile, our work with Pro Baristas helping hundreds of people into coffee employment each year led toward an expansion into coffee roasting at about the same time. That’s when our head roaster and coffee buyer, Micah Sherer, joined our team, bringing his experience opening coffee businesses, working with coffee producers, researching coffee supply chains and competing as a barista. Ben Szobody, a former political journalist who founded Pro Baristas, co-published coffee magazine Longberry and worked on The World Atlas of Coffee with James Hoffmann, oversees Common Life.
The aim of the roastery is to provide one of many options for Buncton residents seeking to move into sustainable, productive work and living. All of the proceeds from Common Life will fund the work at Buncton and connected projects. We’re also giving £1 per kilo to coffee producing communities as the first step in a long-term process to challenge the power dynamics in the value chain and work toward a more equitable system.
Common Life is a brand of Skylark Coffee and is focussed on accessible coffees for the charity sector.