On Wednesday, 29 October, the UK Coffee Week team sat down with Sydney Kelly, co-founder of the Tower 47 coffee shop on Chalk Farm Road in Camden for a Q&A session. In this session, we discussed the launch of Tower 47, their coffee, being a business owner, and UK Coffee Week 2015. Sydney's passionate, energetic and outgoing personality shined through the conversation as we sat in the eclectic cafe with a cup of delicious coffee.
UKCW: As a New Yorker, what sparked your interest in opening a coffee shop in London?
Sydney: My job was transferred from New York to London. I had an unrelated injury and was out of work for two weeks and during that two weeks time out of work, my partner, Matt and I were sitting and talking about all the things we love most: coffee, bagels, music, and art, and thought what if we had all of this under one roof. I handed in my letter of resignation and began to pursue this passion. It was a long process that had to be taken step by step, but eventually Tower 47 was launched in 2013.
UKCW: What’s special about your coffee at Tower 47?
Sydney: As a New Yorker, I like my coffee dark... I was pounding on every roaster in London asking for their darkest roast. We eventually tried the local roaster and after tasting it I said ‘this is home sweet home!’
UKCW: What’s the best part of owning your own business?
Sydney: The best part is looking into the future. I am all about goals and targets; and I can see what can come of this operation. It is nonstop work 365 days per year. New business owners need to be prepared to call up their friends and say ‘I’m not going to be talking to you for the next 4 years’, but if you have great friends, they will support you.
After hearing the Tower 47 story, we discussed UK Coffee Week, specifically the first London Coffee Night, which will take place on 7 May 2015.
UKCW: Are you interested in being part of UK Coffee Week and London Coffee Night 2015?
Sydney: Count us in; we’ll be there. We’ll recruit some good talent that night. We’ll have amazing jazzers. It is important to be involved in UK Coffee Week because it creates awareness and gives someone the chance to be a part of something. They have the opportunity to contribute to a great cause.
We had a great afternoon at Tower 47 and look forward to seeing Sydney and the team at UK Coffee Week 2015! You can visit them on Chalk Farm Road in Camden.