Luke Co Founder of Contact Coffee Co

From Bullets To Beans

The Inspiring Story of Two Royal Marines Who Turned Their Passion for Coffee Into a Successful Business

Coffee has been a part of Military culture for centuries, and now two veterans have taken this tradition to the next level. Meet Luke and Si Lume, two former Royal Marines who started their own coffee company to honour their service. With an eye for quality and a commitment to veteran entrepreneurship, they have created unique blends of specialty coffee that is sure to please any soldiers palate. Their passion for coffee has inspired them to create a business that not only provides employment opportunities for veterans but also gives back to the community.

It all started with a coffee. Cliché I know, but it wasn't going to start with a cup of tea was it. The story starts with Two Royal Marines, and their love for coffee.

Afghanistan 2012, where the coffee obsession started. Although we didn't get off to the best start. Within the first week I had the sad news of a close comrade losing his life on an exercise back in the UK, a phone call back home informing me of my dog passing, and to top it off I smashed my cafetière! They say bad things come in three's, a pretty tough week to start my first 6 month deployment.

Life was simple when deployed in FOB's (Forward Operating Base), thirty minutes a week to call home, e-blueys, prep kit for the next patrol, endless hours on sangars. It was the best time. Never will you ever be in a position to get to know the blokes around you inside out, with no distractions of phones or women! Conversations is all we had. There were minimal Weatherspoon's available in the heart of Helmand so coffee and pine lights were the holy grail.

Afghanistan 2016, in a FOB not known to many, coffee habit and obsession in full flow we discovered a branded mug amongst the polystyrene cups, of an American military coffee brand. No prizes for guessing who it was. Still in there infancy, they were still a huge inspiration for us. After hours of trying to place an order that wasn't over £100 for a bag of coffee and mig, we researched into looking for a Uk version, there wasn't one..... Light bulb moment!

The Challenges We Faced in Starting and Growing Our Business

Starting and growing a small business can be an incredibly difficult task, especially for veterans. From the initial idea to the day-to-day operations, there are many challenges that can arise. This is especially true for veterans who are starting a coffee business.

Veterans face unique challenges when starting and growing their businesses due to their military background. These include finding financial resources, navigating regulations, and understanding customer needs. Additionally, coffee businesses have their own set of challenges such as managing inventory, maintaining quality control standards, and developing marketing strategies.

Military veterans have unique experiences and skills that can be valuable assets in the business world. But they often face obstacles when starting their own businesses, such as lack of capital and access to resources.

However, these challenges don't have to be insurmountable. Many veteran entrepreneurs have been able to overcome these obstacles and achieve success in their businesses.

The Impact of Our Inspiring Story on Veteran Entrepreneurship

Veterans bring a unique set of skills to the business world, and their inspiring stories have had a tremendous impact on veteran entrepreneurship. The economic impact of veteran-owned businesses is undeniable and has been estimated to be in the billions of dollars worldwide. These businesses are not only creating jobs and wealth, but they are also providing hope and inspiration for other veterans who want to pursue their dreams.

We hope that out inspiring story has motivated many veterans to become entrepreneurs and has helped them build successful businesses. We also hope that this has encouraged more people to invest in veteran-owned businesses, which is beneficial for both the economy as well as for veterans themselves.


  • Always loving your work and what your bring to our world cannot be underestimated.
    Keep it going Lads .
    Battle bags all the way !

  • Si Lume 🤔

  • I eant one of the cammo hats that you are wearing are you going to put it in your clothing range

    Christopher Mr Jackson
  • Hi Guys
    How did you raise your seed capital and the next 3 years of working credit?

  • Hello Luke , Si Lume

    After reading you story the first thing that comes to words is Thank you for service.
    Yes life can be a shit sandwich and you just got to get on with it !!.And great coffee is made.
    Thinking about your coffee,I wish it was on a USAF base’s.
    I now no why the second cup is free,Can’t give the stuff away !!!.
    Keep up the great work.
    And always a little further


    Garry Kingstree

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