Lockdown 3.0 has been harder than ever on our city centre but one business that’s stayed open throughout is Leicester Coffee House. Keeping everyone caffeinated daily, they’ve also now opened up their front windows for local artists to do displays.
With their prime spot on Granby Street it’s a wonderful opportunity for artists to be able showcase their work for more people, and is a welcome sight as you wander through town. We caught up with Gail to find out more about it and how you can get involved.
How is lockdown life going at Leicester Coffee House?
Lockdown life continues, although the last few weeks have been tougher with the cold weather meaning less customers and also zapping energy levels a little bit particularly with the front doors wide open. On a few days it was down to -4 when we opened the shop, so the beans needed insulating and so did we! We doubled in size with the amount of layers, Tommo (our dog) was grateful for his long winter coat and there was some very bad ‘flossing’ going on to keep warm! We knew January would be the hardest month for everyone during the pandemic but our customers have kept us going and hopefully we have gone some way to supporting them too.
You’ve recently opened up your window area for local artists, what inspired this idea?
The front of our building has become increasingly important during lockdown, with our double doors remaining open and becoming our serving area which we felt was the best way to serve our customers efficiently and keep them safe. As the windows have become the hub or our shop for the last 11 months, we thought it would be nice to give this to others as an opportunity to display and ultimately sell their work. It costs us nothing apart from some time to organise and share, gives others a platform and all sales are conducted directly with the artist. There are lots of people living and working in or near the city centre, if these displays go some way to helping someone increase sales for their artistic venture and making someone’s daily walk just that little bit brighter, the question is why not! In turn, maybe some new people will find us too and it’s a win win for everyone.
How can artists apply to be featured?
Simply email Gail at [email protected] ideally with a picture of some of their work and links to their website and social’s if they have them. We so far have had @full_moon_mosaics @tinyleafterrarium and this Friday will be @ameerahdawood.artist The full list of upcoming artists can be found on our blog: Borrow Our Window – Schedule of Artists – Leicester Coffee House Company with more added on as they are booked. We will continue this until which time we need the space for people to sit and then perhaps we can host our walls inside instead.
Who are some of your favourite local artists?
That’s tricky to answer as Leicester has so many superb artists! Doing this has given us the opportunity to discover new ones and allowed us to curate a variety so there is something that appeals to everyone.
You’ve also opened up office space upstairs, is this something that will be available after lockdown?
We have 5 office/studio spaces located within our building above the coffee shop with 2 currently available to rent. They are lovely rooms and would appeal to small organisations or creators. While they are not rented on a permanent basis, they are available to use for groups, meetings or individual workspaces which include unlimited hot drinks. During covid times, we ensure that there is only one person to a room unless they are already in a household / group.
For anyone who’s never visited Leicester Coffee House, how would describe it?
A friendly, cosy and welcoming coffee shop for those that love their coffee!
Which is your favourite of your coffee blends?
We use single origin coffees rather than blends, although occasionally our Head of Coffee likes to try out a mix. It’s tough to choose a favourite coffee, as soon as you think you have one, you try another and it’s even better! We are very excited though for the arrival of our new coffees next month, in particular one from the The Coffee Gardens which is an ethical specialty producer doing some fantastic work supporting local farmers in Uganda and a new Honduran coffee with sales assisting the hurricane relief fund.
What are your opening hours and ordering/delivery details for during lockdown?
The coffee shop is currently open Monday to Friday 8am – 3pm. We post our beans nationwide twice a week and deliver locally by bicycle every Thursday (with the occasional cake!). Most customers have set up ongoing subscriptions which is the cheapest way of getting our beans and can be delivered or picked up from the shop with a free drink. See www.leicestercoffeehouse.co.uk for more details.
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