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Behind the Beard…

Alex O’Meara


I’ve 3 loves in my lifes: Cornwall, Sport and Coffee…..born and raised in Surrey, I’ve always loved sport, give me a ball and I’ll either kick it, throw it or bat it. My path at secondaryschool and then university took me down a rugby route and I have for the past 6 seasons, had the privilege of playing professional rugby with Cornish Pirates.

As a professional rugby player my job is to perform alongside an elite squad of athletes week in week out and I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be able to do this in Cornwall – a part of the country with the warmest of people, the best hospitality and the best beaches!

Training is gruelling and to be alert is key, so my day always starts with a strong cup of coffee. Coffee is like an adventure, discovering the different blends of coffee and everyone’s adventure is different. My adventure was to explore different brew ratio’s and create a unique blend of coffee. The wheel of flavour excites me & alongside rugby, I believe there’s no more exciting industry than coffee and our relationship with it….For the past 7 years I’ve lived and breathed Cornwall. Through my association with Cornish Pirates, I’ve met my closest friends, I also met my partner here and bought my first home – I have been truly welcomed by the community. Cornwall is a part of my identity and I’m indebted to the Cornish for supporting me through my game and celebrating my success and standing by me in my darker days. This coffee I’ve created will celebrate this land, promote it’s culture and thank the people who have taught me so much about Cornish values, their way of life and treated me like one of their own…

By virtue of an unexpected & chance first meeting with Sanjay, I shared my passion for coffee and a desire to createmy own blend, we chewed the cud and batted some ideas about – all over several cups of coffee of course – and the rest,as they say, is history. From this fateful meeting, BlackBeardCoffee was born….. blending not just the beans but my love of coffee & Cornwall and giving something back to a part of the country that has given me so much.

Together with my partner Sanjay, we truly hope you will enjoy drinking this coffee as much as we have creating it!

Sanjay Shah


Coffee has been a feature of my family’s business dating back generations. In Kenya my grandfather established a coffee farm and shipment business back in the 60’s, this business is still run today by family members. Life adventures has taken my family far away from Nairobi and coffee and I now live in London but am still very connected with my family who now head up the coffee business.

Following a chance meeting with Alex, we spent hours discussing his love of coffee and lofty ambitions to create his own blends and together we penned our journey of bringing the best coffees to Cornwall whilst promoting the Cornish culture.

There is nothing more exciting to have the opportunity to revisit my family’s heritage and alongside Alex, develop Blackbeard Coffee – coffee’s with a difference. Coffee from a long line of coffee brewers with the expertise of ethical production bringing Cornwall the most exciting recipes and tastes.

I’m extremely grateful to be a part of this journey and to be connected with Cornwall, its great culture and meeting new people through this exciting project.

So why Blackbeard?

Coffee perks us up, it warms our soul and gets us ready for the day - similar to a romantic partner. Coffee plays a huge role in our relationships - with our friends as we meet for a catch up, with business partners as we discuss plans.

For me, sharing a coffee with the lads after training or with my partner in the morning or as we take evening walks on the beach, it’s that wonderful feeling – developing relationships over a shared cup of great coffee! 


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