Welcome to the second in our mini Q&A series celebrating Monday’s International Coffee Day. Yesterday we featured Conrad Allen from Temple, who set out to create something small but special for the small town of Bude that the café is based in.
Today it’s Cath Seay from Curators Coffee in London.
Cath, what’s your favourite coffee?
I’m a big fan of coffee brewed V60 style. Right now I’m enjoying the Tegu from Nyeri, Kenya, that Coffee Collective roasted.
How about your customers’?
It’s a flat white by far! According to our Square data we sold almost twice the amount of flat whites to lattes, which is the second most popular drink.
And what’s your favourite coffee blend?
I’m in love with Finca La Independencia from El Tambo in Colombia. Colonna Coffee roasted it for us to use on our house espresso this year and it’s just stunning.
Cream or sugar?
If the produce you are using is high quality you shouldn’t need either! A good coffee or tea should be sweet and balanced with tons of natural flavour.
What inspired you to start your shop?
I’ve always loved coffee and hospitality, but meeting the right people to start a business with is really what started it all. You need a great team and support network to open shop. It’s so much tougher than you can imagine.
How do you differentiate yourself in the market?
We are constantly curating a range of coffee beans from roasters around the world to sell online or in-store. We want to showcase and share the diverse world of coffee with our customers. We also recognise that customer service is everything. Our team make sure that our stores have a fun and welcoming atmosphere.
What are some of the biggest challenges or adversities you’ve faced starting and running your business?
Making tough decisions when something isn’t working and allowing yourself time to step back and get perspective. It’s super hard to do these things when you are time poor and passionate about what you do. High quality data can make these decisions more clear. Square Analytics has been instrumental in helping us make decisions about the business.
What is your favourite part of selling coffee?
I really enjoy training, so my favourite part of selling coffee is running tasting sessions and demos for customers, or training a staff member to perfect their skills so they can run the sessions.
What do you wish your customers (or anyone!) knew about your coffee?
I wish they knew how much hard work goes into making their coffee every day! There are so many steps that have to happen successfully before they walk into the store to make a purchase: setting up viable business models, staff recruitment and training, great roasting of the beans and right back to the actual farming of the coffee. That’s just a few, but there are great stories to be told about what our customers are consuming.
Find out more about Curators Coffee