Back in 2007 we initiated contact with The Railway Heritage Trust with the view to gain support in renovating the old disused ticket office at Queenstown Road Railway Station. This forgotten and dilapidated room dates back to 1906 and has Grade II protected historic buildings status. It still had some wonderful features, but had been abandoned to wood worm and damp. It was an arduous journey taking over three years, with meetings between numerous bodies and companies.
Our aim from the start was to use this special space to offer equally special coffee made with the same care and attention it received prior to reaching us. Speciality Grade coffee is so often not treated with the respect it deserves. Ensuring the green bean crop is worthy of being graded for Speciality status means a huge amount of extra work for farmers. Surely if you do not do your upmost to produce the best result from such fantastic ingredients, you have wasted an opportunity.
So that was our ethos. We felt giving people the best we could would win in the end. You may ask whether this approach, in a railway environment, was madness, where speed and convenience is financially rewarded. It eventually did become too challenging. But, would we have done it another way? Dashed out espresso shots without care or kept filter coffee sitting on the counter for hours? Maybe it would have been more viable, but we would have lost all pride in what we did.
So, although we are sad to say goodbye, we are sad quality and ethics did not win in the end, we are happy that ours, the coffee farmers and roasters efforts did matter to some of our wonderful customers and it mattered to us. Those small victories for good coffee: when someone decided to forego sugar after taking a sip first; when someone tried the filter for the first time and was blown away by how great coffee can and should taste. Those were highlights in our day!
We have had the good fortune of meeting some fascinating individuals over the years and made good friends whilst debating all the good and bad of the world. We say a heartfelt thank you to all of you who have supported us and enriched the years we spent in our beautiful little shop. We will miss those of you who we saw daily as well as those of you who would pop by whenever you could be in the area. Any of you who would like to keep in touch we would be delighted to hear your news and whenever our paths cross again we can take a seat somewhere new (better still, with great coffee) and continue the debates and banter : )