Oct

08

Coffee Birmingham – Review and Next Steps

So, a week on from Coffee Birmingham day, here’s a quick piece to reflect on what was a brilliant day, on the last few months in general and to announce what is happening next!

Quickly, on Coffee Birmingham day, I was heartened by the coverage, the reviews and the general positivity from all the customers who frequented independent coffee shops in the build up to and on the day itself. I would like to thank Coffee Brum’s supporters and volunteers, and most importantly the customers who visited the indies on the day itself, many of whom were here for the first time.

The build-up to Coffee Birmingham day and to the launch of Coffee Birmingham itself back in July has been a challenging one, and far more than I have envisaged it would be.

The story of Coffee Birmingham goes back to about this time a year ago when my girlfriend and I discussed the idea of getting Birmingham’s independent coffee shops involved in a large event to showcase, celebrate and drive new customers to independent coffee shops.

Early into 2012, I started to talk to the indie coffee shop owners and baristas about the idea of putting on such an event. A few ideas were exchanged at the time.

Since the early discussions about putting on an event, the shape of Coffee Birmingham has changed in response to the interest, not merely from independent coffee shops, but from partners, sponsors and advertisers who have shown their support for a positive movement promoting independent businesses across Birmingham.

We have achieved a lot in a short space of time:

  • a dedicated movement dedicated to promoting #indielove and showcasing independent businesses across the city with a strong social media presence, especially on twitter and having garnered PR local and radio and newspaper coverage;
  • the buy-in and support from independent businesses across the city;
  • sponsorship from Enterprise Nation and Set and Match
  • advertising support for independent businesses;
  • the launch of the Declaration of Independents which has garnered over 200 names to the support of independent businesses;
  • Superjelly – a supersized version of Birmingham #jelly taking place at three independent coffee shops instead of the usual one;
  • the launch of the Coffee Club Collective’s first exhibition;
  • and, of course, Coffee Birmingham day itself.

Of all of these, securing sponsorship from Enterprise Nation was a major breakthrough in terms of advocating what Coffee Birmingham was doing to support small businesses, but gave me a small amount of marketing budget to pay for some of the costs incurred already on promotional work and design. This has nearly covered my costs but alas not any of my time!

Yet, one thing is for certain, Coffee Birmingham has not been smooth sailing and it has been at times very frustrating. Alas, not every independent coffee shop wanted to be part of the Coffee Birmingham movement, including some for whom I frequent on a regular basis (and still do) which was a real shame.

Furthermore, a number of the coffee shops were not as proactive as I thought they would be, and in the week up to the event, I was not clear about what a few of the coffee shops were doing until the day before the event itself! I was also surprised at the negative comments received by certain baristas publicly and privately towards what I was doing to support them – which was ultimately driving traffic for FREE to the coffee shops.

Yet I have been encouraged by all the indies that have supported and wanted to get involved, so building on this, I am starting a new venture called IndieLove to build celebrate, showcase and build the profile, not just of independent coffee shops, but of all independents.

Coffee Birmingham will become a part of IndieLove and will continue to offer to promote independent coffee shops. IndieLove will be far broader – we will still be promoting and flying the flag for indie businesses, but we will also be offering a range of services to help grow and develop independent businesses across the UK.

A new website is to be launched imminently but in the meantime, keep checking back here for all the latest news and information.

Thanks once again to every person who has continued to support Coffee Birmingham and long live IndieLove!

Tim.

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Oct

04

Photos posted on twitter from customers on @coffeebrum day #indielove

Here’s a small sample of images and photos from customers on @coffeebrum day.

Alice Wright – Discovered a love for Chai Lattes @sixeightkate (@alicelouisa2)

Lydia Carney – Tea samples/master brewing class @yorksbakerycafe (@lydiacarney2)

@cybrum – “Potato prints” (@wearecoffeeclub live art workshops at @urbancoffeeco

Matthew Kennard – “Green tea at Yorks Bakery Cafe and a delicious hand pulled pork sandwich, mmmm”  (@appsonthemove)

Alan & Alona – “Brilliant tour of Birmingham with @coffeebrum. Excellent way to see the city, topped of with a cappuccino! #indielove  (@doublehelpings)

@aliceruthrob  #indielove
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Oct

02

Podcast from BBC WM Mollie Green Breakfast Show (29/09/2012)

You can listen in here to a podcast of Tim’s interview on Mollie Green’s Breakfast Show last Saturday morning. Tune in after about an hour following the 7am news to listen.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00yp4wt

Enjoy!

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Oct

01

With thanks to our most excellent events team…

On Saturday, you may have seen our events team across the city in Coffee Birmingham t-shirts

Thanks to their efforts, their spread the word for #indielove and helped to drive traffic to the coffee shops on the day.

We are extremely grateful to Afnan, Adama, Jessica, Mark aka Cybrum, Kat, Lydia, Rachel, Sarah, Sophie and Rickie for their brilliant work.

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Sep

29

Thanks to BBC WM for the coverage

A quick thanks to Molly and all the team at BBC Radio WM for their coverage of Coffee Birmingham day on the breakfast show this morning.

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Sep

26

Build up to 29th: Yorks Bakery Cafe

We are delighted to have Yorks Bakery Cafe on board as a supporting independent coffee shop (and indeed artisan bakery) for Coffee Birmingham Day on the 29th September.

These guys and gals are the new kids on the block, yet their experience and expertise combined with much fresh thinking is on show and clear to anyone who goes into their premises on the corner of Colmore Row and Newhall Street.

Since opening in August 2012, Yorks have been garnering praise and positivity from all who visit, whether it is the fantastic Caravan coffee, expert baristas or their superb cakes, sandwiches, pastries and breads, prepared on site in their very own bakery and freshly displayed on their wooden trestle tables.

What are they doing on Coffee Birmingham day? In addition to the usual quality produce and coffee, on the 29th, there will be offers in store and they will be putting on some demonstrations to showcase their talents…

…. including, a few things that you didn’t know about TEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, on Coffee Birmingham day, be sure to visit Yorks Bakery Cafe!!!

With thanks to Simon Ford and the team for their support.

Where: Yorks Bakery Cafe, 1 Newhall Street, Birmingham

Website: http://yorksbakerycafe.co.uk/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/YorksBakeryCafe
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/yorksbakerycafe

Photo credits: http://roobarbgifts.blogspot.co.uk + @glamourcounty

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Sep

23

The Coffee Club Collective: FREE Live Art Workshops at Urban Coffee, Coffee Brum day, 11am-3pm

Event: Free Live Art Workshops from The Coffee Club Collective
Where: Urban Coffee Company, Church St
When: Coffee Birmingham Day, Saturday September 29th, 11am-3pm.

The Coffee Club Collective, currently exhibiting their first exhibition at Urban Coffee Company, will be offering live art workshops upstairs at Urban’s Church Street Emporium on Coffee Birmingham day from 11am to 3pm.

Amongst the activities on offer, there will be a number of activities including casting figures which can be painted mask and hat making and general creative fun!

We are delighted once again to be showcasing the work of the Coffee Club Collective and we urge you to bring your young-uns and yourselves upstairs to experience the fun on the 29th.

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Sep

22

Build up to 29th: Six Eight Kafe

six eight kafe

The build up to the 29th continues … so here’s a little preview of what Six Eight Kafe are going to be doing on the 29th….

It is absolutely fantastic to have Six Eight Kafe on board as one of the supporters of Coffee Birmingham and whose team of talented baristas will be present to showcase their talents on Coffee Birmingham Day (Saturday 29th September).

Six Eight Kafe have a strong reputation as being one of the best indies in the UK and, for those (and many more) reasons, we urge you to share the #indielove and get over to 6/8 on the 29th to understand why!

On the day, Six Eight Kafe will be offering a coffee and cake deal whilst providing you with their brilliant Hasbean roasted coffee and demonstrating their many skills.

With thanks to Dav, Hannah and the whole team for their support and contributions.

… And to leave you in no doubt as to why you should visit 6/8, here’s video footage of Six Eight’s talents, videos courtesy of barista (indeed, former Six Eight-er) and all round creative force, Craig Bush. Enjoy!

See how Six Eight Kafe make their Flat Whites:

The original Six Eight Kafe promo video:

Making a Chemex Coffee at Six Eight Kafe:

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Sep

20

Our events team plotting and planning…

Had a fantastic meeting with the events team last night. Lots of great ideas exchanged and momentum has been brought up a few notches in the build up to the 29th. Exciting. Thanks one all.

Photo credits – Peter from Urban Coffee and Rickie Josen (aka Mrs Coffee Birmingham).

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Sep

19

Live Music from Blueprint on Coffee Birmingham Day @ Urban JQ from 2pm

As part of all the fun stuff going on as part of Coffee Birmingham Day,  we are delighted to announce that Blueprint will be providing live music for Coffee Birmingham Day at Urban Coffee’s JQ Emporium from 2pm.

Blueprint are a four piece instrumental group who also work collaboratively with singers and other instrumentalists.

With stylistic diversity, their music generally falls somewhere between smooth jazz, funk edged jazz and R & B.

The group’s compositions derive from reminiscent or familar sounds from their likes and past experiences.

Be sure to check back for exact times and further info.

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