Interview

The Coffee Works Project

On Tuesday 25 November, the UK Coffee Week team met up with one of our biggest supporters, The Coffee Works Project, at their store on Islington High Street. Catching up with Joanna and Peter gave us the perfect opportunity to reminisce about their involvement in UK Coffee Week and discuss their future ideas for 2015 (which we cannot wait to see!).

UKCW: Tell us your story. How did the Coffee Works Project start?

Peter: Originally, this was a dream. I have a background in hospitality and I was influenced by my Greek and Cypriote roots where coffee shops were the main hub of the community. That was slightly different from the UK, where pubs were the hub of the community. There has been some change in London; however, the coffee shop is starting to become one of the main communities. I wanted to create a space where I could showcase amazing coffee with a strong commitment to quality. This space would also be a place where people can work and socialize at the same time.

Well, some of us at UKCW are hopeless romantics and absolutely ate up the next part of his story.

Peter: People have met at The Coffee Works Project and started relationships here. One couple met here and eventually wanted to have their engagement party where they first met.

If that isn’t a true coffee shop romance, we’re not really sure what is!

UKCW: You were a part of UK Coffee Week last year. What did you do for it?

Peter: We fundraise every year for the week. Our biggest hit was yoga, where we turned the entire shop into a yoga class. We even had the class held outside in our garden so later at night people could stop by for some nice “pop up” yoga.

UKCW: How successful was your involvement in UK Coffee Week?

Peter: It was really a success. We were able to diversify the client base and introduce something new to the coffee shop patrons. We were also able to explain UK Coffee Week, Project Waterfall, and London Coffee Festival as different events with one centralized message. The week was successful because it allows us to do some fun and interesting events with a serious underlying cause to spread awareness. We consider ourselves the “seasoned pro” when it comes to UK Coffee Week.

Next we discussed London Coffee Night 2015 with Peter, which we are really excited about!

Peter: The night definitely diversifies UK Coffee Week and has the potential to bring a new crowd to the celebration. It really highlights the personality. We would consider doing yoga as part of London Coffee Night.

UKCW: And what about your plans for UK Coffee Week 2015?

Peter: We’re finalizing ideas now for the week so we will keep you updated!

We look forward to seeing Peter, Joanna and the rest of The Coffee Works Project team from 4-10 May 2015 at UK Coffee Week! If you can’t wait until then, you can drop into their store on Islington Highstreet and you’ll be instantly welcomed into their buzzing community. 

Our Afternoon with Tower 47

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.

Photo: Tower 47 Instagram

Photo: Tower 47 Instagram

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.

tower 47

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.