MOST coffee drinkers do not think twice about the energy needed to make their hot beverage.

But new Oxford eco-cafe The Hog Roast aims to change that and make customers more environmentally-aware.

Its kettle, oven and lighting will be powered by an onsite wind turbine and vegetables grown nearby, including carrots, beans, potatoes and broccoli, will be used in its soups and sandwiches.

Any food not grown on the cafe’s doorstep will come from local ethical suppliers and all waste food will be composted, to fertilise fresh crops.

The cafe, which opens at Grandpont’s 14-acre Hogacre Common Eco-Park on Sunday, is thought to be Oxford’s most eco-friendly cafe and believed to be the first of its kind in the city.

The founder of The Hog Roast is second-year Oxford University student Madeleine Ellis-Petersen, 20, who said: “The cafe aims to encourage more people to come down and enjoy the beauty of Hogacre Common and to strengthen the existing community of people who visit the common.

“Money generated by the cafe will be used to support work at the common, thereby enabling more people to enjoy access to the exciting opportunities of the eco-park.

“I'm hoping the cafe will act as a hub for lots of environmental projects.

“Oxgrow, the onsite community garden, is a great place for people to try their hand at vegetable growing, and the cafe’s eco-library is home to books full of advice on small changes we can all make, which have a big impact on the environment.”

About £6,000 of grants have been raised since the project started in March to fund the conversion of a former college sports pavilion into a cafe.

The kitchen has been updated, secondhand furniture smartened up and the whole building repainted.

Ms Ellis-Petersen, who is studying history and politics at Magdalen College, hopes to get a wood-burning stove for the winter to make the cafe fully self-sufficient.

She added: “The cafe will highlight the importance and viability of local food and low-carbon life choices and create a space everyone in the community can enjoy.”

The cafe will be staffed by volunteers, with all the profits ploughed into supporting the Eco-Park project.

Wine-making workshops, foraging sessions and cider siphoning will entertain visitors at the launch event, which will run from noon until 5pm.

The cafe, which is off Whitehouse Road in South Oxford, over the railway bridge beyond South Oxford Adventure Playground, will be open every Sunday from 11am to 4pm.

Hogacre Common was opened in 2011 on Corpus Christi’s former sports ground and is rented by Low Carbon West Oxford from the college for a jar of honey a year.

There is an orchard, a community garden and acres of hazel coppice.

For more information, visit or call Madeleine on 07702 810877.

Power plant

An average-sized wind turbine at about 20 metres high could produce 10KW per hour and would be able to power:

  • A kettle, which uses 0.114kWh each time it is boiled – produced by the turbine in less than a minute
  • An electric oven for an hour would use 1.2kWh – seven minutes of wind turbine time
  • Lighting for a day (presuming 10 fluorescent tubes for 10 hours) would be 3.6kWh – 22 minutes of wind turbine time

An added benefit is that any excess power generated can be sold to the National Grid