Spotlight on Brew
In the coming weeks, Visit Lancaster is shining the spotlight on some of the brilliant independent businesses in our local Lancashire region.
This time, it’s Brew Coffee Shop! Brew Coffee Shop is a small independent cafe in Lancaster serving speciality drinks, seasonal food and freshly baked cakes.
We spoke with owner Luiza Woods and here’s what she has to share.
How would you describe Brew Coffee Shop in a line or two?
We are a small independently owned cafe bringing together our love for fresh local ingredients, baking, tea & coffee paired with a friendly casual service.
What was the inspiration behind starting Brew Coffee Shop?
I have always been in the hospitality industry and whilst working and travelling in New Zealand I fell in love with the café culture. The bright vibrant community hubs were something I thought was missing from the small UK towns.
When researching Lancaster back in early 2018, there was only Atkinson’s selling speciality coffee and nowhere selling ‘brunch style food’. It just so happened that 3 new cafes popped up in the same year!
What was Brew Coffee Shop like in the early days?
We’ve only been going just under 2 and a half years so it’s still relatively new. Having said that, we have evolved and adapted in this small space of time.
How has Brew Coffee Shop evolved over the years?
We are very different from when we first opened our doors, everything from décor to menus. In the beginning, we didn’t really know what we were going to be, as we hadn’t sussed who our customer base would be. We had our grand ideas but some of them just didn’t work, Taco lunch menu was one of them!
During the first year, we realised that it was all about brunch! So we upped our game on the kitchen side of things and curated a few dishes of our own, The Green Eggs have become very popular!
Before the pandemic hit we also had community events in the evenings which ranged from coffee, poetry to craft classes. We will see if we bring them back in the future.
The biggest evolution we’ve had to make is the Covid 19 pandemic! We closed initially for 8 weeks during the first lockdown (in which time we operated a cake delivery service from our social media) and reopened at the end of May’20 operating as a takeaway. This has been really successful! In fact, since then we have only closed to take a Christmas break. Staying open has kept us connected with all our customers and created a bigger customer base.
The cake delivery service was so popular we sought premises and opened Baked By Brew in November 2020, in which you can buy cakes online for delivery or collection. This again has been very successful. We’ve managed to keep our ethics to our core throughout.
What are you excited about in the months and years ahead?
There is a big unknown about the next few months as the hospitality industry has been hit hard. For us, due to our large customer base, we may now be “too small” to accommodate everyone. Especially our regulars who came every day and knew there would be space… but who knows!
We are adapting our space and outside seating to accommodate more people in all weather.
What made you choose to work with North Star Coffee for coffee beans?
Firstly we knew we didn’t want to use Akinsons as they have the majority in town, plus they brew their coffee the best so why try to replicate.
On researching other Northern small roasters I found North Star from a friend’s recommendation. I absolutely loved that they put their ethics and transparency of the coffee industry at their forefront, paired with outstanding coffee! We use their single-origin Brazil on our espresso and switch up the filter coffee seasonally.
We also like to support other small independent roasters by having “guest filter coffee” which changes monthly.
When the lockdown is over and you can once again return to our beloved high streets, please remember to support and shop local.
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