“What I did at Flat White was exactly what I did here, just creating those relationships, keeping them fresh, keep being outgoing and positive, forging little connections with people, and carrying that across into the business. And that was probably the most enjoyable part of the job.
Cafes are quite often called the third space. Outside of your home and your work there's a cafe. And that's a really cool concept when you think about it. These spaces are really important in people's lives and when they have great experiences there then it's another third of their life that's been improved.
A lot of places would just make coffee. The lid goes on, you're out the door, that sort of thing. But I was acutely aware that having a warm and inviting space was really important to the overall experience. So when we came about, that’s what we did. And we were voted the number one cafe in London by Time Out magazine.
And we did a smaller cabinet than the beautiful stuff Bridgett puts out here at Milk Crate. Just a couple of sandwiches, and a guy would bake banana bread at home, and ANZAC cookies, and bring them on his bike every morning. But even at that basic level, people were wanting to come see what it was all about. And they couldn’t quite believe that it would be a place that was just about coffee. They’d be like “Coffee and what? What’s the thing you do? Because we all do coffee. Why is your coffee better than our coffee?” And it was a hard thing to explain to people, that it wasn’t just about the coffee, it was about the experience.”