THE sweet scent of imaginative ideas will hopefully be the key to brewing up more business for one tea and coffee specialist in Ford.
Edgcumbes is this month nearing the completion of its new headquarters, in Ford Lane.
For the first time since it was founded, in 1981, the business will open its doors to the public by launching an innovative coffee awareness scheme in its new café facility.
The idea was the brainchild of the businesses’ director, Alice Rendle.
It comes after Alice returned from a ten-day trip overseas to Columbia, last month, to learn more about the coffee industry – a move which has inspired her to try to pass on her knowledge to the masses.
Alice, who has been fronting the family business since 1986, said: “It’s an exciting period – terrifying at the same time but we’re really looking forward to it.”
Alice explained that the idea to expand the operation from selling purely as a wholesale outlet to becoming a site where the public can sit, relax and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, was a risky one.
However, she was keen to try to educate people about the benefits of brewing and roasting their own coffee.
To this end, Alice revealed that when the new café opens, at some point in May, she would be offering special sessions to residents keen to discover more about the process of coffee roasting and unlocking the secrets to crafting their own perfect brew.
“I think that what we have found is that people are really keen on getting advice about how to make and brew their own coffee at home,” said Alice.
“I think a lot of people don’t really know how to do it and that when they look at the beans they just panic. But it really isn’t that hard a task.”Alice Rendle, Edcumbes director
“I think a lot of people don’t really know how to do it and that when they look at the beans they just panic. But it really isn’t that hard a task.
“We wanted to start up a store for people to come in and see what’s going on behind the scenes. Rather than being a hidden world people can see the work being done and how it all happens.”
Despite working in the tea and coffee industry most of her life, Alice said that last month’s trip to South America had really opened her eyes.
“Columbia is just a great place. I had no idea what a lovely country it is. I always think about it being full of drug runners and cocaine barons but that really was not the case.
“It was a real eye-opener because it made me realise quite how much work is involved in preparing the coffee before it hits our shore.
“It really made me realise what a global community coffee is.”
As part of the trip to Columbia, Alice had the chance to spend some time with the farmers who are the first point of call for much of the globe’s premium coffee brands.
She said she was stunned by the workload which goes into preparing all the beans.
“They are such hard workers, I couldn’t believe it,” added Alice. “But they have a real passion for coffee and a pride about the job they do. It’s amazing to see.”
Alice’s new café and shop will be opening at some point next month.
For more details about the venture, and the possibility of discovering how to brew the perfect coffee, call 01243 555775 or see www.edgcumbes.co.uk