Coffee #1

Origins

Coffee #1 identified a need in the South Wales market place for quality, gourmet coffee. The Chairman, based in Seattle, had seen at first hand the enormous success of the coffee house culture and as a regular visitor to his native Welsh homeland saw the untapped potential in the thriving towns of South Wales. The major challenges were the significant investment required to reach critical mass and generate surplus cash to self finance growth and steely determination and an incredibly strong belief in the business was a definite pre-requisite. Hiring and retaining responsible, committed members of staff on the limited budget available has proved challenging, whilst repairs and maintenance is also an issue as the pounding received by a shop open 362 days a year is significant. The resulting demand on time, energy and wallet can be draining.

Success Factor

Since the first year of trading, the UK coffee bar market has grown at a steady rate – a daily take away latte is becoming an increasingly popular part of the British lifestyle. Coffee #1 has been lucky that customer responses and feedback to all new store openings have been overwhelmingly positive and the business tries very hard to ensure top quality drinks in cosier surroundings than the three larger rivals, which has allowed the company to push forward confidently.

The Future

Coffee #1 has had a record year and its shops are busier than ever. People’s appetite for its award winning coffee shows no sign of abating and the company concentrates very heavily on the key basics of outstanding quality coffee and great service in cosy shops. It has been recognised as Best Chain by the Beverage Service Association and have also won Best Cappuccino in Wales and the West. The company has great people and have invested heavily in training them to the highest standards. The major challenge during the recession has been to decide the timing and scale of the expansion plan, in which Coffee #1 will continue to open new stores within South Wales and South West England