After nearly two decades in the fashion industry, Jenny Cooper grew frustrated by the endless production of “stuff” that inevitably ended up in the garbage. In 2020, she opened IXV Coffee with the ambitious goal of producing zero waste.
“As a culture we're so used to throwing things away and creating so much trash,” she says. “IXV is a nod to things that get better with age and to the time we take to create them and enjoy them.”
With IXV, Cooper launched a cup-swapping program that provides guests coffee in reusable cups on their way to and from work, creating a virtuous everyday ritual for her community in Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill neighborhood. She relies on Per Diem to create a smooth experience for her staff and guests, to boost her business, and to deepen relationships between neighbors. Here’s how.
With a mission centered on sustainability, Cooper looks for ways to do more with less in every aspect of her business. The cup-swapping program—which aims to eliminate single-use cups, straws, and lids—is not only good for the environment, it’s also a boon for her bottom line. She can charge customers less for their coffee because she’s spending less on supplies.
Additionally, IXV offers guests an efficient experience when they visit the shop. Customers who subscribe to IXV through Per Diem can redeem their order on a smartphone, receive a QR code, then show the code to a barista when they arrive. The self-serve interface allows Cooper to operate with minimal staff, avoid extra training, and keep the line moving during a morning rush.
IXV offers a free reusable cup with a drink subscription purchase, which makes it possible to turn one-time visitors into regulars. “There are conversations, like the guy who comes in for a single-use cup and sees he can get a subscription and an IXV cup with it,” Cooper says.
Cooper also buys pastries from local bakers, including healthful, gluten-free Knead Love and artisanal Runner & Stone. Subscribers who have a reason to pop in for their morning coffee or tea are often tempted to grab a pastry, too—so there’s always an opportunity to sweeten the deal.
A small staff and loyal group of regular customers give IXV a true neighborhood feel. “We see the same people every day, so there’s a real community and ritual to it,” says Cooper. “People bring their dogs by, and their babies by—it’s lovely.”
The shop is designed with considered materials, including handmade chair cushions and vintage decor, and guests do their part to uphold IXV’s commitment to sustainability. They bus their own dishes, heeding signs for compost and recycling. As Cooper sees it, that’s because a thoughtfully crafted space inspires others to be thoughtful about their actions.
“We’re always saying that we have the most polite customers. Everybody takes a moment and reads the signs. It’s the simplest thing ever, but it’s integral to the message we’re trying to get out: things we’re throwing away should not be trash. That forces you gently to think about what you’re doing.”