Six Eight Kafe opens its new branch

Six Eight Kafe opens its new branch

I bring brilliant news as Six Eight Kafe finally opens its much anticipated second branch at Millennium Point!

It all kicks off with a launch party this evening. As I now do regular work over in Eastside, this is most definitely going to become a new regular Eastside destination for me from here on in.

six eight kafe

I cannot wait to see what treats are on the menu beyond just the coffee shop itselfs. Congratulations to all the team at Six Eight Kafe on the launch and a big thanks to Dev for allowing me to publish these brilliant preview pictures of the fantastic looking new coffee shop.




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!! 





Digbeth’s newest indie coffee arrivals …. Greenhouse Cafe** and The Old Crown Coffee Club.

Digbeth’s newest indie coffee arrivals …. Greenhouse Cafe** and The Old Crown Coffee Club.

Digbeth is a place on the move. For many of you who have frequented the Custard Factory and the surrounding area over the years, many cafe-type places have come and gone!

Yet, this is changing. With friendly places like Yumm and Fazeley Social having been established and familiar fixtures for a number of years, and with the likes of Digbeth Dining Club through to Edible Eastside amongst others, Digbeth is hip and happening with a great independent ethos.

So with all that Digbeth has to offer, two new places have opened to add to the indie ethos that exists here.

The Greenhouse Cafe

Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth B9 4AA
web: www.greenhouse-cafe.co.uk
tw: @greenhousebrum
fb: www.facebook.com/pages/Greenhouse-Cafe/460299587356938

Open for a number of months now, the Greenhouse Cafe occupies a prominent space in the Custard Factory. Rosie Backen, the cafe’s young and driven owner, has done a cracking job, embracing the local community and working alongside businesses in the Custard Factory, to make the Greenhouse Cafe part of the fabric of everyday life in the Custard Factory.

The atmosphere is welcoming whether as a place to chill, to work, to hold events. The decor is full of vintage and old-school features with lots of light and many bright colours. With Chairs, sofas, wooden tables and stools – there’s a place to sit whatever your mood requires, and there’s wifi and a number of powerpoints to plug in as required.

As for the coffee, The Greenhouse Cafe is the latest Brum establishment to rock out with Has Bean and does so through a La Marzocco – Linea machine.

For the tea drinkers amongst you, be sure to try their teas from local independent Char Wallah (whose shop is in the Pavillions)

They have have an extensive food offering, including hot and cold options from brunch, to lunch to a BBQ in the Summer.

Hint – in the mood for indulgence, try their peanut butter chocolate cake. Whilst I don’t know the exact name – it’s one of the best sweet things I’ve tasted in Brum.

The Old Crown Coffee Club

188 High Street, Deritend, Birmingham B12 0LD
web: http://www.theoldcrown.com
tw: @oldcrownbham
fb: https://www.facebook.com/theoldcrown1368

Head out of the Custard Factory and turn left and The Old Crown Inn needs little introduction. It is the oldest pub in Birmingham and the old period decor, wooden panels, chairs and relaxed atmosphere provides a lovely background for their new venture. At one end, we have the pub, at the other …  The Old Crown Coffee Club, open since May.

This isn’t just a quirk. Sit with a coffee amidst the Tudor beans and panels and you get a sense of the history and tradition of this building. It’s a complete about-turn to the stripped down, quasi-industrial workshop looks of many of an indie establishment that you find in London, for example.

Winchester Coffee Roasters supply Synergy beans and the coffee is delivered through a machine made by the folks at Birmingham based Fracino! The folks at Char Wallah supply the tea here too.

For those wanting a breakfast, these guys offer a large selection of traditional offerings alongside a lunch menu. Bread is supplied through The Bread Collection and all cakes and pastries are made in house by their Patisserie chef, Joanne!

Wifi is also readily available and there are power points.

So, The Old Crown was already a part of Brummie tradition. It’s now most definitely part of Brummie’s indie coffee tradition.

** Since the writing of this article back in July, it was extremely sad to hear of the news that Greenhouse Cafe shut its doors at the start of this week. Greenhouse Cafe’s owner Rosie worked tirelessly to reach out to the Digbeth community and it was an excellent spot in the heart of Digbeth!




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!




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!





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.






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.




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.




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




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).