The morning office coffee run led to an award winning business idea

Kate Stewart, Founder & Managing Director at Stay tray

Kate Stewart spent 17 years commuting the trip from the Mornington Peninsula to Melbourne.

“I would leave at 5:00 am before my kids were even awake. Those were super long days.”

“I would find a café open near me on the way to work and have another couple of coffees a day just to get me through. I wouldn’t get home till 6:30 pm at the earliest,” Kate says.

Stay Tray’s light bulb moment

During the week, the best I could hope for was to be home in time to put my kids to bed. The weekends were great, but it just wasn’t enough quality family time.”

One morning, Kate and a friend headed to the local cafe with six reusable coffee cups in hand.

“We battled to juggle the six empty reusable cups on the way to the coffee shop. The barista asked us if we would like a cup tray to carry the six piping hot coffees back to the office.”

“It felt painfully ironic. There we were, using reusable coffee cups but carrying them in a disposable coffee tray. Something that would be discarded at the end of the coffee run, or at best it would consume energy and water in the recycling process,” Kate adds.

“At worst the cardboard trays would contribute to the 30% of paper waste not recycled and ends up in landfill each year. This light bulb moment led to Stay Tray, a reusable tray from 100% recycled plastic, a simple sustainable solution to carrying multiple keep cups.”

“There wasn’t a sustainable, versatile reusable drink tray to be found anywhere. Those people, like us, who were sustainably minded, were using disposable cup trays again and again.”

“People are consciously using their keep cups but are faced with only single use disposable alternatives to transport more than two coffees. We needed a reusable coffee tray.”

Stay Tray is Australian and environmentally friendly

Kate wanted to keep Stay Tray 100% Australian owned and made.

She wanted to support Australian designers, engineers and manufacturers even though it would be half the price to engineer and manufacture Stay Tray abroad.

All design, engineering and manufacture has been kept within a 60km radius of Stay Tray’s home on the Mornington Peninsula. Stay Tray was awarded Silver in the Packaging Innovation and Design Awards hosted by the Australasian Institute of Packaging.

Kate also developed and ran a successful Kickstarter Campaign to expand Stay Tray further.

Stay Tray was awarded Winner in the Beverage Category of the WorldStar Packaging Awards in Germany. Stay tray also received B Corp Certification.

This means that Stay Tray meets the highest standards of social and environmental impact.

“At Stay Tray, we understand that we are a part of something bigger. We have a responsibility to help solve the social and environmental challenges facing the world.”

“B Corporations represent an emerging group of businesses that are dedicated to using the power of business to create a positive impact on the world, not competing to be the best in the world but rather, to be the best for the world,” Kate concludes.