Thursday, 15 November 2012

Ground Coffee Houses - Featured Retailer of the Week

Interested to know more about the great independent retailers we work with? Every week we will be showcasing one of the fantastic additions to the Loyalli network. This week, we caught up with Rick Curtis of Ground coffee houses in Brighton and Hove

How did you get into your business?  

Our main impetus for starting a business was to pursue our dream of working for ourselves while simultaneously addressing the lack of serious coffee establishments in Brighton.  We had both been working in Brighton's top restaurants and became frustrated with the limitations of working for others, especially with regard to the all important coffee moment.  For some reason, chefs seem to have little awareness of the importance of a good coffee after dinner!  Hence, we set out to combine our love of third wave coffee with our knowledge of excellent customer service to create a superior coffee establishment.  These two components are what we've built our reputation on. 

Where can we find you?  

36 St Georges Rd, (Kemptown) Brighton, BN2 1ED

84 Church Rd, Hove, BN3 2EB

Or find them here - 

twitter: @Ground_Coffee

Why that location?  

Our first location in Kemptown was chosen primarily because of its proximity to several demographics:  a hospital, a college, a language school and a strip of shops, all embedded within a diverse residential area.  It is on a south facing corner, a stone's throw from the sea and is bright and airy inside.  We chose Hove as our second shop because we wanted to have a high street presence and more storage space.  The shop is north facing but because there is a large window at the rear of the shop there is a lot of light coming through.  The ceilings are quite high so it has a grand feeling about it, and there is a huge basement that we will be developing into further seating for our customers.

What is your favourite item on your menu?  

I'm always excited by our filter coffee selection.  This is where we get to play a bit, helping ourselves to the bevy of quality roasters now serving the top UK independent coffee houses.  We've been able to brew coffees from Union Hand-Roasted, Extract, Origin and Ozone coffee roasters, with our current offerings coming from Square Mile.

What is the most popular item amongst customers?  

Well, coffee is the most popular thing we sell, of course!  More and more customers are using less milk in their coffee, opting for piccolos, macchiatos, Gibraltars and flat whites.  We believe this is a reflection of their desire to pursue the real taste of coffee, as opposed to the milky, sugary varieties first introduced by the high street brands.  Apart from coffee, each shop has its specialities.  Hove sells a lot of our Canton Tea Company loose leaf teas and there is a greater interest in vegetarian food.  The wraps - tofu with toasted seeds and tahini dressing; halloumi with roasted pepper and sweet chilli sauce - do particularly well there.  In Kemptown, we sell a lot of breakfast croissants and granola pots in the morning.  For lunch, our Reuben-style sandwich is pretty famous now, although the new Hot Pastrami on Rye is beginning to overtake it.

Third shop... we hope so!
Do you have any exciting plans for 2013?  

Yes!  We are really needing to develop the downstairs of our shop in Hove in order to provide more seating for our customers.  We also plan to organise more events in the shops, including gigs and films, and we are likely to begin offering training courses and consultation to local cafes and restaurants.  Third shop?  Maybe.

Why did you join Loyalli?  

The Loyalli app is helping us in our efforts to reduce the amount of paper waste we generate.  Also, lots of our customers seem to forget their loyalty cards but not their phones so this has really worked out well for them.

What is your Loyalli offer?  

We offer the 10th hot drink for free and lots of good vibes.

Thanks Rick, we can't wait to drop in for a coffee again soon! 

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