ShopWatch: Small Batch Coffee

ShopWatch is a regular feature looking at inspirational Brighton shops. Owners share the secrets of their success and give Brighton Starling an insight into their business.

With premises in Goldstone Villas, Wilbury Road and Jubilee Street, and mobile coffee carts at Brighton and Hove train stations, Small Batch Coffee has made quite a name for itself in Brighton over the past few years. Serving excellent coffee, sandwiches and homemade cakes, the Wilbury Road shop is our pick of the bunch. We spoke to Nick Barlow.

ShopWatch: Small Batch CoffeeShopWatch: Small Batch Coffee

Who owns the shop?
Brad Jacobsen.

When did the shop open?
Wilbury Road opened in March 2011.

What is your inspiration behind the shop?
The inspiration for the shop was simply coffee. Coffee, its colours, textures, smells and tastes inspire the dark wood and tasting wheel-style interior decor.

What other shops do you admire?
I’ve always been a big fan of Monmouth Coffee in London, but outside of coffee I can’t spend enough time in the Steamer Trading Cookshop.

Why did you choose to open in Brighton?
We were already an established Brighton business with our Roastery in Goldstone Villas and two mobile coffee carts, so the choice to open another shop in Brighton was very easy.

Where do you see the shop in five years time?
Hopefully it will be much as it is today. Friendly, busy and full of local regulars.

What is the best compliment you’ve ever been given about the shop?
That we make the best coffee. People say it a lot but it’s still great to hear.

How do you choose what to stock?
The most important thing we stock is our own coffee, which we import, roast and blend ourselves. However, when choosing other brands (tea, fruit juice, baked goods) we work with local companies who’s emphasis is on excellent quality. We’re very proud of our coffee, so we need to make sure that everything else we sell matches our own high standards.

What has been your proudest moment since opening?
I think probably after this year’s Brighton Marathon, seeing just how hard the staff worked that weekend and how many coffees they managed to pump out.

What is the secret to your success?
Excellent coffee without the attitude. We want to share brilliant coffee with people, not preach at them.

Any advice for people wanting to open a shop in Brighton?
Focus on what you do best and try not to do too many different things.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Keep up the good work.

What does the name mean?
The name Small Batch Coffee derives from the process of roasting coffee. We slow roast the finest quality green beans in small batches of 10 kilos or less.

Any exciting developments/events planned over the next few months?
This is the first summer that our new branch at Myhotel has been open, so we’re just concentrating on making sure that all goes smoothly whilst maintaining our high standards across the board.

ShopWatch: Small Batch CoffeeShopWatch: Small Batch Coffee

Small Batch Coffee, 67c Church Road (Corner of Wilbury Road and Church Road), Hove, BN3 2BD. Map.

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