A few people have asked about how Coopers came about and developed so here is a little bit about the journey so far – there is still a winding road ahead we're sure!
The regulars, many daily, get what we do, and they are exactly why we set up Coopers:
Awaken the senses
Grow and learn
Having your own business is hard. Hospitality is no exception. Long hours. Staffing issues. Customer problems. Small margins. It seems people think that if a place is busy you are making money, it’s not that simple but a whole other issue and one that just comes with setting up your own business.
BUT there are massive positives and where I must spend all my energy. We have so many customers to thank for making Coopers such a sanctuary of happiness and warmth.
Social media has given us such grief. With days of time spent worrying about a few negative people with issues that we had never imagined, most feel like a personal attack due to putting so much heart and soul into Coopers. We realise that criticism can be constructive and lead to developments, changes and improvements – the best has occurred from people talking though, normally from face to face conversations, through social media it is mainly people venting and words can be taken completely the wrong way. Unfortunately, we cannot please every single person, it is just sad people think they can hide behind a screen and potentially harm business, so a MASSIVE thank you again to those who have put up lovely reviews and positive remarks which you have said to us in person. There are also the great advantages that come from social media such as free advertising and brand building that can really help get information to the masses quickly and easily.
Boy, have we learnt a lot or what!!!
Life was steady in a design job for me, but it [the company] was moving to London and with a dislike of commuting and wanting to stay in the area, I decided not to follow. All the while at pretty much in the same instance I was talking with a great friend and my now business partner. We love great coffee and food, and with so little specialty coffee in the area decided we could make it work and bring people great coffee. It awakened my senses, I trained at London School Of Coffee with Morten Münchow. A great guy with a real passion for coffee where I learnt about roasting. Then I proceeded to Prufrock on Leather Lane in London. A coffee shop that centres itself around coffee, and Jeremy Challendar is the man with a plan, who I met and did my barista training with.
That’s just the coffee. Then there is recruiting & HR, catering, chef work, accounting, maintenance… so much! It’s very exciting, not a day has gone by that has been dull.
We found the great space that is now Coopers. Thinking mainly about coffee roasting but soon realising it would be ideal place to roast and serve the coffee with the captive audience of the business park. Confident people would appreciate great coffee it has gone from strength to strength. There has been wave after wave of kind words and awesome customers. Many have and are still coming in daily. It feels like a home from home and Cooper has been a real key to making it feel like it has a heartbeat.
The team that has been built is fantastic. A lot of care and consideration is put in daily to provide service customers deserve and the team really makes Coopers what it is. It will always go through different transitions, it’s the nature of hospitality, but we have a fantastic core of people that thrive on customer interaction and showcasing fantastic food and drink.
The space was designed to be in keeping with the building while trying to promote sustainability. Re-using materials, making some of the furniture and buying plenty of 2nd hand items. Much of what is in the space has a story. All of this is aimed to inspire. A creative space that people can feel at home, no matter who they are or where they come from. A place to feed ideas, whether that is a different space to work, get out of the office for a meeting or get away from life and open the mind to think. All aimed at stepping stones to build on ideas.
There have been lots of updates, from the art work, to the menu, the coffee and the arrival of a grab & go fridge. We will keep innovating and developing, so watch this space. There is always something in the pipeline!
If there is anyone out there inspired by what we do, or feel they can add to the Coopers world we are open to ideas. Of course we won’t be able to do it all, maybe some won’t be in keeping with Coopers, but it never hurts to ask and talk. It might even lead to an amazing alternative idea. While asking for help – maybe someone is reading this who knows how to (or knows of someone) who can develop a good online app store?
We are really excited about the future and progression and one day hope to develop more of a Coopers school of excellence. Helping others understand business. Particularly coffee, getting it set up, the pros and cons. Branding and designing alongside the not so fun business needs of accounting and HR!
We’re happy to share our knowledge and one day want to be able to help budding entrepreneurs think outside the box. Maybe bringing in school groups and talking about the real world. If anyone has these connections and thinks it could be interesting and useful we are open to help?! Making a good impression on this world through sharing experiences and building each other up, rather than knocking each other down is wold be a great way to progress.
Think presidential election! Campaigns were built on divisive slurring to try and get the upper hand. It was a sorry state of affairs. Yet it got the attention of so many across the world and that is the sad thing that doesn’t make sense. One bad comment spreads so much further than ten good comments. Having been on the receiving end of this we would not wish it on others and will always aim to spread positivity. So here is to a bright future and one with a great energy to get ideas realised and inspire future generations to do more than crave money and fame and do something with their lives. No matter how small a gesture it is so much more energising to develop and grow.
In a nutshell:
Inspire others in a creative space, awesome products, sanctuary of space and a place to mull
Awaken the senses with great coffee first and foremost, accompanied with delicious food and thoughts these bring
Grow, learn and make a positive impression on this world.
Over and out,
James & Cooper