Rugby player Craig Jackson starts selling coffee in Melrose

A BORDERS rugby star has launched his own business selling takeaway coffee.

Southern Knights captain Craig Jackson, 29, opened Bean ‘N Gone outside the Greenyards, Melrose, in December.

Operating out of a trailer, Mr Jackson sells coffees, hot chocolates and sweet treats – and he has already built up more than 1,000 followers across Facebook and Instagram.

“I have a real passion for it [coffee],” said Mr Jackson.

Inspired by ‘indie’ coffee bars he had seen in Edinburgh, Mr Jackson bought his trailer in October.

Border Telegraph: The Southern Knights captain was inspired to set up a coffee business after seeing 'indie' ventures in Edinburgh. Photo: Helen BarringtonThe Southern Knights captain was inspired to set up a coffee business after seeing ‘indie’ ventures in Edinburgh. Photo: Helen Barrington

He said: “I thought it was a good idea to make good coffee available on people’s doorsteps.

“I’m not saying I know everything – the team at Three Hills Coffee [in Selkirk] have really supported me.

“I see it as bridging the gap to give quality coffee and bringing the city to the Borders.”

The beans brewed at Bean ‘N Gone come from Selkirk-based coffee shop Three Hills.

“I want really great coffee,” said Mr Jackson. “Someone asked me if I would do bacon rolls etc, but I don’t want to dilute [what we do] with anything else.”

Border Telegraph: Bean 'N Gone has been based outside the Greenyards, Melrose, since December. Photo: Helen BarringtonBean ‘N Gone has been based outside the Greenyards, Melrose, since December. Photo: Helen Barrington

Although currently based at the Greenyards, Mr Jackson hopes Bean ‘N Gone will eventually be seen at events around the region, including local rugby sevens competitions and agricultural shows.

But Mr Jackson added that he has enjoyed the trailer’s present location as it has given him an opportunity to meet plenty of passersby.

“[I] never planned to be here [at the Greenyards] but not many places [cafés] are open.

“So the location worked, especially for walkers.

Border Telegraph: The trailer has proved a hit with customersThe trailer has proved a hit with customers

“As long as we’re abiding by the rules, we can chat with people – which is a bonus we can provide as well.”

Cafés and coffee shops in the Borders were forced to close on December 26 when mainland Scotland entered Level 4 of the coronavirus local lockdown restrictions.

However, hospitality premises can continue to offer takeaways.

Mr Jackson, who works as a college lecturer in Edinburgh, told the Border Telegraph that Bean ‘N Gone is open most days between 10am and 4pm. 

However, this is likely to change when Mr Jackson returns from home-working and the rugby season resumes.

Border Telegraph | News