A coffee entrepreneur is back in the industry - after joining the top team at a community enterprise which helps army veterans to get back on their feet.

Community interest company (CIC) Combat2Coffee has recruited a crack team of food and drink experts and veterans to form an advisory board - including Paddy & Scott's co-founder Paddy Bishopp.

He is one of four new non-executive directors to join the board as the Suffolk company strives to extend its reach across the East Anglian region.

Others to join are Tiptree Patisserie managing director Daren McGrath and veterans Will Anderson MBE and Paul Botterill.

Combat2Coffee - which was founded in 2018 by veteran Nigel Seaman - uses coffee drinking to drive positive mental health conversations among ex- and current armed services personnel and their families.

Paddy first met Nigel during his tenure at Paddy & Scott’s, which he left in 2017. 

“My background is in coffee, and I’ve always admired what Nigel is doing in the community. His attitude is infectious and I love how he devotes his life to helping others," he said.

“It is great to be back in the coffee industry again, and I look forward to helping make Nigel’s ambitions for the business a reality.”

Will Anderson, a former major in the Army Air Corps who has since worked in senior marketing and communications roles, said: “Supporting Combat2Coffee is a great way to give back to my local and military communities and I want to use my background in communications to help raise awareness of the impact the organisation has on our communities.

“Paddy is a good friend of mine – and with our combined experience, you could say I bring the combat and he brings the coffee.”

Combat2Coffee started with a coffee caravan providing outreach and support to the local community.

Today it operates cafes in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds and supplies coffee to some of the biggest companies in the country – including Vertas and AXA.

It provides training and development services to veterans and others in custody through roasting and up-skilling programmes.

It supplies Ipswich Town Football Club with its own coffee roast called ‘Cuppa Towen’.

The club has partnered with Combat2Coffee on two recent initiatives - the I’ve Bean Better and Medals2Matches campaigns - to expand outreach further into the region’s communities.

Daren said he was looking forward to contributing his expertise in the food and drink industry to drive sales and increase community output.

 “I first met Nigel by chance and was immediately charmed by his commitment to supporting veterans," he said.

“My wife and I are involved in a lot of events at Colchester Garrison and recognise the importance of supporting our armed forces community.”

Former Royal Navy officer Paul is treasurer for veteran’s charity The Not Forgotten.

“I was first introduced to Nigel in 2018 through my work with The Not Forgotten and offered him my support in getting Combat2Coffee off the ground," he said.

“It has been amazing witnessing its growth and look forward to playing my part in continuing that journey.”

Nigel said the experience the new directors bring would be invaluable.

“These past few years have been incredibly exciting for Combat2Coffee – and it is amazing to see how many veterans and families we have helped as a result of our work," he said. "I am hugely grateful to have them on board.”