Oct

14

Pictures from Urban Coffee Company’s preview launch in Harborne

Urban has a new and lovely emporium which opened today in the newly redeveloped School Yard in Harborne. The decor and atmosphere feels warm and homely and I’m really digging the open bar vibe as well.

Here’s some pics from the soft-launch party last night. I urge you all to get over and check this place out. A fab job has been done by all concerned!

Let us know what you think of Urban’s new emporium in Harborne – tweet to @coffeebrum!! 

 

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Nov

29

Support the Yelp Shops Local Pledge this Christmas

Hi all. It has been a while since I last posted on here but I urge you all to support this initiative to back all things local this Christmas and to do your bit for #indielove.

From the YSL page:
“Yelp’s challenging communities across the land to keep their hard-earned dough close to home by taking the Yelp Shops Local Pledge! What does this mean? Pledging proudly to make a hearty effort to support the great local business community whenever possible, and encouraging others to do the same. Even buying one gift from a local small business makes a big difference in our community.

So click “I’m In!” in the Yelp Shops Local event listing in your city if you plan on making the effort to shop local this holiday season. It’s all about solidarity!”

What’s great is that Yelp Birmingham are completely pushing it and a number of local businesses are already on board. It would be great for both customers and businesses alike to support this campaign keep things local this Christmas.

Visit the campaign on facebook here.
Hashtag: #yslbrum
Follow @yelpbrum for more info.

Keep flying the flag for #indielove this Christmas!

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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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Aug

24

Our new flyers have arrived … with thanks to Set and Match

Our new flyers are now available and being distributed in independent locations across the city. Look out for them and be sure to spread the #indielove especially in the lead up to Coffee Birmingham 2012.

If you are an independent shop and would like some delivered then please drop me an email – tim@coffeebirmingham.co.uk.

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Tim with a pair of scissors = dangerous


 
Quick word of thanks to Phil and the excellent team at Set and Match who supported us by sponsoring the production of these flyers and to Enterprise Nation for their continued belief in our goal to promote and support small independent businesses across the city.

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The new flyers

About Set and Match
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Set and Match are an independent company focussing on all aspects of graphic design, pre-press origination and print. They offer an “all under one roof” service staffed by talented professionals who cherish clients’ printing projects from concept to delivery. Their “yes we can” approach led to our association with them and the delivery of our new flyers.

More info: www.setandmatch.net.

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