GoodNews based the business philosophy on the Spanish expression ‘buen rollo’, Barcelona
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GoodNews, Barcelona. Independent magazines and signature coffee blends creating a sense of community

The story of the foundation begun as a response to the pandemic:  «There was a sense of fear and an unnerving feeling that we as a society shared», explains Head of Product, Laura García Guardans

GoodNews, Barcelona

Having pooled resources between five individuals, GoodNews, Barcelona was first established in Barcelona on the twenty-eighth of September in 2020 during the COVID-19 crisis. Having begun with a single kiosk at Avinguda Diagonal in Barcelona, GoodNews now operates across ten kiosks between the cities of Barcelona and Madrid. Their prime location of Avinguda Diagonal, situated in the center of the city has since allowed for the business model to expand, using tact customer centered practices and good news since its opening. Sitting in on behalf of the interview is Laura García Guardans, the head of product at GoodNews. The five owners of the business, who came from varied professional backgrounds, were in their late twenties and based in Barcelona when they prompted the realization of GoodNews. These individuals intended to structure a business model that was diverted away from their career path – thus founding a business model catering coffee and reading materials that complemented each other. Guardans, who came aboard GoodNews in its period of expansion oversees the purchases of external products sold in the kiosks across the two cities and manages editorial related content on GoodNews’ online channels. 

GoodNews, Barcelona answers pandemic needs

The story of the foundation of GoodNews, Barcelona was begun as a response to the pandemic – rooted from the lethargy that was caused by the torrent of unsettling news brought forth by the pandemic and the disconnect that occurred within society. Guardans shares, «There was this looming sense of fear and an unnerving feeling that we as a collective society shared. News sources that we turned to were sharing facts in regard to the pandemic. This led people down into a slope of sadness and left them without hope». Intending on going against the deluge of bad news, the group of owners came together wanting to give uplifting news amidst the chaos of the world. Guardans explains that whilst the majority of the news that we received were deterring, there remained good news to share that could be used to uplift one another. As such, the owners formatted and ideated GoodNews into a reality. «This was the derivation to the name of the store. The need and want to share good news between staff members of a business and the customers who would stop to get their desired items». GoodNews, as Guardans puts it, acts as a medium that complements an individual’s journey. Not intending to halt a user, the to-go concept business model succors to a consumers’ wants and needs during a pandemic. This too goes hand in hand with those who are looking for a cup of coffee and additional items to accompany them to where they are headed to. Guardans explains customers who shared good news with the team had their stories shared on their social platforms – pact of sharing uplifting stories upheld by GoodNews. 

Some books selected by GoodNews, Barcelona
Some books selected by GoodNews, Barcelona

GoodNews, Barcelona: the meaning of kiosk 

GoodNews came from a shared ardor for coffee and paper goods. Guardans reports that «When the world was shut down due to COVID-19, we witnessed the habitants of Barcelona heading to the streets – park benches, side streets and kiosks. It was the remaining symbol of community that brought people together». In the period of idleness during the pandemic, the owners of the business realized that they could take advantage of what they had on hand, all the kiosks that scattered the streets of the city, to connect the citizens once again. As Guardans reports, the kiosks that exist within Spain, in Barcelona in particular, are located in prime corners of the city. «A feature that sets Barcelona apart is its cluster of melting pots and neighborhoods that each represent multifarious communities and its people. It is within these neighborhoods where kiosks reside – in a strategic manner where it is accessible to consumers». When it was first introduced in the nineteenth century by governmental bodies, its purpose was to ensure the longevity and inculcation of newspapers within the country. Carrying newspapers and varied reading materials, kiosks acted, as they remain today, an accessible business where locals are able to acquire sundries, a cup of coffee and reading materials without having the need to head to a grocery store. As such, these cultural landmarks that had continued to remain in the cities across Spain hold value to all the locals. Guardans adds that they intended to disseminate their business through this familiar market identity. GoodNews kiosks sell varied titles of books and magazines that accompany their signature coffee blend. Customers are given a choice between types of coffee beans and modes of consumption for their coffees. Some titles of reading materials include Fucking Young, Self Service, Apartmento and Gourmets. Books sold within GoodNews sites are sourced from renowned publishers like Phaidon and Gestalten where titles include Kitchen Living and Modern Manners

GoodNews, Barcelona philosophy

In founding its structures, the owners of GoodNews based the business philosophy on the Spanish expression buen rollo. «This mindset of putting out good news into the communities we exist in still persists. The intention is to ensure that even as a passerby, you take back with you a good feeling as you leave the space. As such, our members of staff are inculcated with the mindset of maintaining and bringing forth good vibes». Guardans elucidates that while one can be trained in regard to making coffee, the fostering of community and sense of connection between staff members and customers who frequent the stores are integral to the identity of the business. The community-based philosophy of GoodNews was a reaction to globalization and the vastness of online spaces. This feeling became a voice of reason for the owners to compose a physical coterie. Alongside to selling coffee – a product manufactured and owned by GoodNews – the chain of kiosks carries food and beverage items, sustainably sourced from the local area of the sites, to establish connections within the industry: «The neighborhood and community-based ethos that we etched in September of last year serves as the basis of how we operate. If an individual based in Madrid were to come into a GoodNews kiosk, they would be getting food items made by bakeries and breweries from the locale». 

The Goodnews chain

Each supply chain that GoodNews has partnered with since its opening practices healthy social and environmental modes of functions – a key aspect that GoodNews intends on upkeep as the business perseveres. Having a central location that acts as a store and a bakery, GoodNews’ reasoning behind formatting a physical store within Barcelona and Madrid was to ensure that they too could partake in making and selling food items alongside their coffee beans and merchandise. As a means to serve quality coffee, GoodNews partook in a period to source their coffee beans from a variety of suppliers across the globe. Having settled on a supplier based in Columbia, «It was a coincidence when it came to the name of the coffee farm. Based in Columbia, it is called Finca Barcelona and the owners of GoodNews were taken by the quality of the beans and the name which pays homage to the city in which GoodNews comes from». Guardans explains that this coffee farm upholds social and fair-trade practices by ensuring proceeds from coffee bean sales are invested into the education of the plantation workers. Shipping the beans to the outskirts of Barcelona, GoodNews roasts the coffee and packages them for consumption and sales across kiosks and their online platform. Working alongside organizations to reduce wastage, GoodNews ensures that food items not sold for the day are donated to those in underdeveloped communities across the cities they reside in. The business partakes in recycling their wastage by partnering with city-based organizations to dispose of items. An added responsibility in ensuring they uphold their sustainable values, items sold in GoodNews do not contain plastics of sorts. In the upcoming months, GoodNews intends to pursue their aim, while managing a sustainable and mindful manner in locations across Europe. 

GoodNews

Avinguda Diagonal, 407, 08008 Barcelona, Spain

Situated across ten locations – three in Madrid and eight across the city of Barcelona, GoodNews is a moted consortium serving coffee and literary materials in the kiosks that flock Spain. The ethos and philosophy of GoodNews – to fostering good and uplifting stories has been a driver for flocking coffee connoisseurs and readers alike. In the coming months, the establishment is set to form another kiosk in the city of Barcelona, totaling GoodNews’ physical footprint to eleven kiosks in the city of Spain, where they continue to spread good news, coffee and reads. 

Pravin Nair

The writer does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article.

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