The first straw!
If you’ve ever tried to enjoy a delicious milkshake or cool glass of lemonade using a paper straw which then turns into a soggy mess, we’ve discovered something fantastic here at Billy’s – the wheat straw.
We are proud to say we were the first café in the UK to stock these little fellas which are not only environmentally-friendly but gluten-free.
They were created by actor Roger Dipper and his theatre producer friend Benjamin Lockwood, a regular at Billy’s, who had both become tired of drinking cocktails through paper straws.
During a trip to Vietnam, the business partners discovered the locals were enjoying their drinks through straws made from grass, and so an idea was born.
By-product of harvest
“We researched the UK and realised while paper straws tended to turn to mush, re-useable straws were not easy to wash,” says Ben. “So, we asked manufacturers in Asia to look into grass, hay and bamboo. We finally found a manufacturer who is making the straw for us using the stem of wheat – a by-product of the harvest which would normally be thrown away or burnt.”
Luckily for Billy’s, Benjamin chose us first to try them out – and now bars and cafés from Brighton to London are following our lead.
The wheat straws are going down well in the café – they won’t disintegrate no matter how long it takes you to sip your chocolate milkshake or Hartridge’s Ginger Beer, and they are 100% compostable. And, don’t worry, you can still blow bubbles through them to your heart’s content!