It seems when you're doing being a coffee business, blog writing ends up bottom of the pile. It is something we're going to address!

First thing, its been well over a year since we wrote anything and what a year! We moved into a new roastery and opened a shop. all on a shoe string budget, but with oodles of, well...heart and graft! 

The vision of the shop was to create a place to connect people with coffee and community, to make speciality coffee as approachable and accessible as we can for the good people of Manchester. To make that happen, we had some excellent coffee people...

 

It was a beautiful thing for a while, but to make business sense, we were going to have to start focusing on the food side of things, and ultimately, that was going to start pulling our focus away from being our central mission: Being a coffee roaster for Manchester and spreading the word that great speciality coffee is for everyone. 

We did see loads of this in the shop. People not used to having a range of coffees to try very quickly became used to identifying their favourite fruity, chocolatey or something in between type coffee. 

 

After hot drinks, our next biggest selling item was coffee beans, which is exactly what we wanted! Although to be fair, we could have done with about four times the amount selling, then we could have stayed open!

So it was a case of: Don’t be sad that’s it’s over, be glad that it happened. The shutters went down, and we relocated entirely to the Roastery. Its only ten minutes up the road from the shop, and anyone is welcome to come and buy beans from there. 

The Roastery

 

 

 

 

The roastery is wonderful. It came about because nearly one hundred yr old, third generation, family owned Martins Craft Bakery are as mental as we are. We'd met them at Cup North (Manchester Coffee Festival) around 2 and half years ago. We began working with them on a long term project to improve the coffee in their 24 shops, because better coffee is for everyone and they love working with local companies. 

Their bakery premises in Newton Heath sits within part of a 50,000 square foot old mill, parts of which have been thoroughly overhauled and house their rather

epic bakery operation. Damn fine parkin. We were having a tour one day and stuck our heads into this building...

which was basically a very useful place to store 100 years of bakery ideas and old equipment you miiiight just need again. 

Well one look at the beautiful beams and natural light...and an idea germinated. It was only a half thought over reach of an idea, but, what if we could base our roastery here? We had to move out of our old roastery as the building it was in  was being knocked down and redeveloped (Go Gentrification) sooo...how about here?!

Well...third generation Martin, Neil, saw the vision and agreed it would be a goer. They know coffee is a big part of their future, the building wasnt paying them any rent, so why not? They worked with us in putting in the power and services we'd need, and even put in a glass walled room at the back we can use as our training room. Best Landlords Ever! 

Its not in the most salubrious area of Manchester, but its only 10 mins out of the city centre and the first whiff of hipster can be detected here and there in the area. Its easy to park though and it gives us plenty of room for events. So far we have hosted:

2 x UK Barista Championship Northern heats

1 x World Coffee Research presentation 

4 x Sage home espresso masterclasses

 

Around 35 training sessions for baristas and bar tenders !

So. We have moved the bar and equipment and plants from the shop into the roastery, and it looks mighty fine. 

We are going to have many more events and workshops and training sessions, and are putting finishing touches to a spangly new website you'll be able to book them through, and buy coffee from, naturally! 

A lot has been happening. The last year or so has felt more like learning painful but important things about being small business owners, rather than being coffee roasters. However, we're settling into our home and its going to be so good to just focus on the coffees, helping our lovely customers brew a delicious cup, and feel connected to this tribe of the coffee curious, who care about a coffees origins and trust us to help them navigate this magnificent and ever changing landscape of Speciality Coffee.