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Meet the founder of Austin hotspot, Cosmic Coffee + Beer

Meet the founder of Austin hotspot, Cosmic Coffee + Beer

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Sustainability, permaculture and regenerative systems.

Sustainability, permaculture and regenerative systems.

Meet the founder of Austin hotspot, Cosmic Coffee + Beer
When co-founder Paul Oveisi found out that being an attorney wasn’t for him, he pivoted and found his calling in a combination of hospitality and permaculture. The result is, well, heavenly.

Cosmic Coffee + Beer was inspired by creating an environment that embraces permaculture, sustainability, and regenerative systems. They utilize rainwater, harvesting, chicken coops, on-site composting, biological ponds, raised-bed, rainwater, and waterfall gardens to attract pollinators and provide them with herbs, nuts, vegetables, eggs, and fruit. They are also inspired by their local culture and heritage.

Read on to learn more about Paul, his business, and his wisdom on sustainability.

Tell us about yourself.

I’m an entrepreneur who has worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years. I am an attorney by trade, but I soon found out that being an attorney wasn't for me so went into hospitality. Additionally, I became interested in the world of permaculture and sustainability about 10 years ago. I spent a few years working in the field building and designing sustainable landscapes and regenerative systems in an urban environment. Later I married the two works of sustainability and hospitality into the Cosmic concept.

Cosmic has a significant commitment to sustainability, permaculture, and wildlife habitat creation, and it is a big part of our culture.

What does a day in your life look like?

Like most entrepreneurs, my days are hectic and unpredictable. There is no typical day. Currently, we are in the middle of building our second location and planning our third. My partners and I meet regularly to balance operations and growth while developing our brand. Our brand includes a healthy commitment to sustainability, habitat creation, and soil regeneration on our properties.

What does sustainability mean to you?

To me, it all depends on the context. When I hear the word I first think of natural resources. How can we use them in a way that they can replenish themselves? Or, how can we use them in a way that does not negatively affect our current and future generations?

What have been some of the biggest challenges you have faced as a brand in the sustainable space?

When you announce to the world that you are going to be sustainable, your accountability is elevated. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We try not to be too preachy about it. We want to change the world in a way that is fun and engaging. We emphasize mitigating our waste which is REALLY challenging for a high-volume restaurant/bar. One of our primary focuses is on wildlife habitat in an urban environment. We also believe in promoting biodiversity. It is part of the ambiance of our place, but it is not all for show. We have seen a significant spike in pollinator species, insects, birds, soil microbes and amphibians. You can learn more about it on our website. These are what we are passionate about, and there are challenges with each, but we do our best.

How can people support your brand during the current pandemic we are facing?

Aside from visiting us in Austin, we have a healthy to-go business. You can also visit us online for merch and share what we’re doing with others.

What do you find most challenging about living sustainably?

Personally, there are a ton of challenges. For someone who is passionate about being sustainable it is easy to get trapped in trying to be perfect. You find yourself doing things that are not sustainable. We aren't there yet; we still waste but I do my best and try to do what I can and know that I am going to grow. My kids will call me out sometimes, and they’re right.

It can be overwhelming. Try not to do it all at once...that isn’t sustainable. Start with the easy stuff and ease into it.

What are some sustainable brands you use?

I use Dr. Bronner’s. They make a castile soap and we use that (along with vinegar and essential oils) to make our own natural cleaners and hand soap. I also use Mrs Meyer's, they have great mission statements that explain the reality of being sustainable and still flexible and with sound business practices.

What is your advice for someone wanting to start a sustainable brand?

I talk about this with a lot of people. You must have sound business practices. Make sure that you are flexible. There are things that I wanted to commit to, but they were not practical at that moment in time. As your business grows, more sustainable opportunities will present themselves if you are committed to it long-term.

What advice would you give to someone looking to live a more sustainable lifestyle?

Don’t get beat up about it. Slow and steady wins the race. Start with the things that excite you. I started with composting because I am passionate about it.

When co-founder Paul Oveisi found out that being an attorney wasn’t for him, he pivoted and found his calling in a combination of hospitality and permaculture. The result is, well, heavenly.

Cosmic Coffee + Beer was inspired by creating an environment that embraces permaculture, sustainability, and regenerative systems. They utilize rainwater, harvesting, chicken coops, on-site composting, biological ponds, raised-bed, rainwater, and waterfall gardens to attract pollinators and provide them with herbs, nuts, vegetables, eggs, and fruit. They are also inspired by their local culture and heritage.

Read on to learn more about Paul, his business, and his wisdom on sustainability.

Tell us about yourself.

I’m an entrepreneur who has worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years. I am an attorney by trade, but I soon found out that being an attorney wasn't for me so went into hospitality. Additionally, I became interested in the world of permaculture and sustainability about 10 years ago. I spent a few years working in the field building and designing sustainable landscapes and regenerative systems in an urban environment. Later I married the two works of sustainability and hospitality into the Cosmic concept.

Cosmic has a significant commitment to sustainability, permaculture, and wildlife habitat creation, and it is a big part of our culture.

What does a day in your life look like?

Like most entrepreneurs, my days are hectic and unpredictable. There is no typical day. Currently, we are in the middle of building our second location and planning our third. My partners and I meet regularly to balance operations and growth while developing our brand. Our brand includes a healthy commitment to sustainability, habitat creation, and soil regeneration on our properties.

What does sustainability mean to you?

To me, it all depends on the context. When I hear the word I first think of natural resources. How can we use them in a way that they can replenish themselves? Or, how can we use them in a way that does not negatively affect our current and future generations?

What have been some of the biggest challenges you have faced as a brand in the sustainable space?

When you announce to the world that you are going to be sustainable, your accountability is elevated. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We try not to be too preachy about it. We want to change the world in a way that is fun and engaging. We emphasize mitigating our waste which is REALLY challenging for a high-volume restaurant/bar. One of our primary focuses is on wildlife habitat in an urban environment. We also believe in promoting biodiversity. It is part of the ambiance of our place, but it is not all for show. We have seen a significant spike in pollinator species, insects, birds, soil microbes and amphibians. You can learn more about it on our website. These are what we are passionate about, and there are challenges with each, but we do our best.

How can people support your brand during the current pandemic we are facing?

Aside from visiting us in Austin, we have a healthy to-go business. You can also visit us online for merch and share what we’re doing with others.

What do you find most challenging about living sustainably?

Personally, there are a ton of challenges. For someone who is passionate about being sustainable it is easy to get trapped in trying to be perfect. You find yourself doing things that are not sustainable. We aren't there yet; we still waste but I do my best and try to do what I can and know that I am going to grow. My kids will call me out sometimes, and they’re right.

It can be overwhelming. Try not to do it all at once...that isn’t sustainable. Start with the easy stuff and ease into it.

What are some sustainable brands you use?

I use Dr. Bronner’s. They make a castile soap and we use that (along with vinegar and essential oils) to make our own natural cleaners and hand soap. I also use Mrs Meyer's, they have great mission statements that explain the reality of being sustainable and still flexible and with sound business practices.

What is your advice for someone wanting to start a sustainable brand?

I talk about this with a lot of people. You must have sound business practices. Make sure that you are flexible. There are things that I wanted to commit to, but they were not practical at that moment in time. As your business grows, more sustainable opportunities will present themselves if you are committed to it long-term.

What advice would you give to someone looking to live a more sustainable lifestyle?

Don’t get beat up about it. Slow and steady wins the race. Start with the things that excite you. I started with composting because I am passionate about it.

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