A new food and drink business has launched in Dumfries and Galloway, with the aim of supporting mental health charities at its core.

The brainchild of local farmer James Rhys, who moved to Scotland several years ago after struggling with his own mental health, Farm Boy Brews is a new enterprise that combines his love of coffee with the desire to raise awareness and conversation surrounding mental health.

James stated the business was born after a particularly difficult lambing season, he said: “Farming was my dream job, and there were so many aspects of it that I enjoyed, but a combination of the loneliness, isolation and the struggle of not knowing where the next pay cheque was coming from really took its toll on me.

“After farming since I left university, I decided in the spring of 2018 that if I didn’t make some changes, it would continue to send my mental health into decline.”

Launched on Thursday 10th October, World Mental Health Day, with its debut coffee ‘Depresso Espresso’, James explained that a percentage of the profits from the sales will go to support the charity Tiny Changes.

The coffee, which is priced at £7 per bag and available to buy online at www.farmboybrews.co.uk and in selected retailers across the region, is a blend of beans from Brazil, Ethiopia and India, and was developed and roasted in partnership with Coffee Direct Scotland.

James added: “I still have a handful of sheep and I still do some farm work, but launching the coffee business has allowed me to have a life outside of farming and means I’m not solely dependent on income from sheep, which was always a bit stressful!”

James hopes that a cup of his coffee will be the perfect excuse for people to have a chat about anything that’s bothering them.

He added that it doesn’t matter who you turn to, a friend, a family member, your GP or a dedicated charity, “there will be someone there to listen, to help and to support”.

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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