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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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

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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Aug
29

Vodcast: Coffee Birmingham meets Urban Coffee Company

In the build up to September 29th, we will be doing a series of videos to celebrate Birmingham’s independent scene. First up, the guys at Urban Coffee Company invited me over to film. Armed with the power cameras on my tab and my phone, I made the best use of the footage I had to put this together.

Please excuse my meagre creative skills. I am not a filmmaker. In fact, I used Windows Live Movie Maker to do this.

What I want to do though these films is to capture an appreciation for indies across the city. Thanks to Peter for using his drama school training to good effect (!) and to the team of Urbanistas who were happy to commit their talents to film.

To those whose faces appear in the videos, please let me know so we can credit you as an #indielove person. It would be good to know who your name beyond being Urban customers.

More to come next week.

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Aug

04

The Spirit of Birmingham Walking Tour, September 29th 2012

On Coffee Birmingham day (September 29th 2012), Midlands Discovery Tours in association with Coffee Birmingham will present  The Spirit of Birmingham.

“Join an expert local Blue Badge tourist guide for a very special walking tour of Birmingham.

The tour is a celebration of Birmingham as a city of creativity, innovation and enterprise, from its earliest days to modern times.

As we walk the streets of the modern city centre and Jewellery Quarter, you will discover how Birmingham has always been a place that has welcomed and encouraged original thinking, and hear stories of some of the men and women who took advantage of that spirit.  Find out how local people’s ideas shaped the world around them, and how independent Birmingham businesses became household names.

But as tour guide Ian Braisby will introduce, it’s not just about the past – we will also explore modern Birmingham’s thriving independent scene and some of the key locations and areas where it can be found.

Covering everything from music, art and literature to industry and, of course, food and drink, this very special tour is an entertaining and informative look at a city that has always lived up to its motto “Forward”.

These events are very popular and offered on a first-come first-served basis so book your place early.

Times and booking details coming soon, but for more information, please contact Midlands Discovery Tours by calling Ian Braisby on:

07970 655 261
or visit www.midlandsdiscoverytours.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MidlandsDiscoveryTours
Twitter: @MidsDiscovery
Hashtags: #indielove #coffeebrum

 

 

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Jul
20

Meeting our Competition Winner

It was great to meet Lucy Whalley, our competition winner yesterday. The prize came courtesy of our hosts for the launch of the Declaration of Independents on Independents Day, Six Eight Kafe, Urban Coffee Company and Saint Caffe. We are also grateful to Peter and Alex from Urban and 6/8 respectively for presenting the prize to Lucy.

In addition to the joyous coffee Lovers prize that you see below, Lucy got a three month subscription to Urban’s Coffee Connoisseurs and some more free coffee and cake courtesy of Six Eight Kafe.

 

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Jul

14

Super #Jelly comes to Coffee Birmingham, Friday 10th August 2012

When Jelly and Coffee come together

In assocation with the official Birmingham #Jelly, we will be doing something a bit different next month.

What: Jelly is a regular monthly event for solo workers, freelancers and people who want to work out of the office for a day to come together to work and chat. Just bring your laptop, grab a coffee (and maybe a cake) and get to work in a lovely friendly atmosphere with like-minded people.

Why: Because the Coffee Shop is a great place work, especially when other people are co-working in the same place. Instead of the usual Jelly which takes place in one location …

… we will hold the Jelly at locations across the city.
… and because this is a SUPER #JELLY, we might throw in a few extra surprises too!

Who: freelancers, home workers, solopreneurs, small business owners, field workers, people escaping the office for the day – in fact, everyone is welcome to drop in co-work, collaborate and chat. Other than a laptop you can bring your notebook, craft or just yourself, it’s a great time to clear your diary and think of new ideas.

Where:
So on Friday 10th August 2012 from 9am, we will be at the following locations:

Urban Coffee Company, Jewellery Quarter
Café Ezra, Hotel LaTour
Six Eight Kafe, Temple Row

Feel free to come and put your laptop down then go grab a drink. Remember, you can come and go as you please! This is one of the benefits of Jelly.

Exclusive Offers for Jellyheads:
Cafe Ezra at Hotel LaTour: free first drink for Jellyheads.
Six Eight Kafe, Temple Row: coffee and cake for £4 for Jellyheads
Urban Coffee Company, Jewellery Quarter: details to come.

How: RSVP to Tim Wilson at tim@coffeebirmingham.co.uk (twitter: @coffeebrum) or Rickie Josen at write@rickiejosen.co.uk (twitter: @rickiewrites) to let us know you are coming (or you can show up on the day).

With thanks to official Birmingham Jelly organiser Rickie Josen for making this happen.

Hashtags: #jelly #indielove #superjelly #coffeebrum.

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Jun
30

Announcing Kiss Me Cupcakes as supporter of Coffee Birmingham

We are delighted to announce the brilliant Kiss Me Cupcakes as a supporter of Coffee Birmingham 2012. As Birmingham’s first and best known cupcake company, their high reputation has been built around products “individually handmade with LOVE, care and attention to detail.”

And this is why we are so very happy to have them on board as a supporter!

As a kind and generous gesture, they are designing some limited edition and exclusive cupcakes for the launch of the Declaration of Independents on Wednesday 4th July.

In return for signing the declaration and a line on what independents mean to you, you will receive one of these free cupcakes.

These are limited edition and will be on a first come, first served basis.

Stay tuned for more info on our locations and times regarding #IndependentsDay (follow this hashtag) and remember to follow us on twitter @coffeebrum and “like us” on facebook for all the latest news and info.

Hashtags: #coffeebrum #independentsday #tellyourfriends

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