In late 2015, Australian digital nomad Jake McKeon took a surfing trip around the world. After 6 months backpacking down the coast of South California through Central America and then over to Europe, Jake’s final stop was to the beaches of Bali. One day, between waves, Jake came across souvenirs being handcrafted from waste coconut shells.
After witnessing through his travels the enormous plastic pollution issue, especially in Central America, where remote white sand beaches with turquoise waters, that were otherwise beautiful were littered with waste - Jake was inspired by the coconut shells, that were naturally shaped like a bowl.
As Jake was talking to the artisan who was crafting the coconut shell souvenirs and asked if the same crafting technique could be applied to the shells, to turn them into bowls that people could eat from? Confident that his friends and family back home in Australia would like some “Coconut Bowls” Jake had 100 made, packed them into his surfboard bag and returned to Australia.
Back in Australia, Jake was gifting his Coconut Bowls around and he and others began sharing photos of smoothie bowls in Coconut Bowls on Instagram. They were sharing to Instagram every morning's breakfast in Coconut Bowls, and very quickly people were wanting to buy them and within a month Jake had no more Coconut Bowls.
After 3 more trips back and forth to Bali - surfing, searching for more coconuts and visiting craft villages Jake realised that Coconut Bowls were so much more than just a bowl. Coconut Bowls were a symbol of sustainability, they were bowls that literally grew on trees, and they could provide jobs to low-income artisans, yet billions of these shells were going to waste every year as a bi-product of the coconut industry.
Inspired by the opportunity to reduce single use plastics, through sourcing sustainable coconut shells, while providing jobs for low-income artisans - Coconut Bowls was born.
Since launching the business in 2016, Coconut Bowls has since sold millions of products to customers in more than 150 countries. In doing so, Coconut Bowls also replaced single-use items in over 1000 cafes with handcrafted natural, reusable products, crafted by dozens of low-income farmers and artisans in Vietnam and Indonesia, who can now count on having a steady income.
Giving back is at the core of the Coconut Bowls purpose, and thanks to the incredible support of the Coco Community, who have not only helped Coconut Bowls champion sustainability to millions of people around the world, you’ve helped donate tens of thousands of dollars to environmental charities through Coconut Bowls verified 1% For The Planet commitment. In addition to this commitment, Coconut Bowls has offset all of the carbon from every shipment since the very first order back in 2016.