The Little Bicycle Coffee Shop

    Love Brownies Guildford

    Keith Parkins
    Nov 19, 2019 · 5 min read
    Love Brownies Guildford surrealism Now Open only not open

    Friday last week across the window of Love Brownies Guildford in large letters Now Open, only they were not open.

    Welcome to Guildford surrealism.

    Rumour was open Tuesday.

    Late into Guildford, nevertheless stopped and had an excellent cappuccino off FCB kiosk followed by excellent late lunch at Bamboo Shoots in Jeffries Passage.

    Passed by Love Brownies Guildford late afternoon, my only reason for visiting Guildford. They appeared to be open, maybe.

    No, not open, open for media at five.

    Now a little odd, open only for invited guests, not a good way to get your coffee shop known.

    At the very least would have thought would have offered a coffee, but no.

    Five actually quite late considering the weather, most people want to be home.

    I suggested if wished media coverage put out a well written press release to Surrey Advertiser and lazy scribblers will regurgitate.

    Yorkshire man: I will talk to our marketing department.

    Marketing department. WTF, it’s a coffee shop. He also fed me bullshit about branding.

    Once people start talking about marketing and branding, they have completely lost the plot.

    Nothing about the coffee, single origin, where sourced from.

    Clueless too on use of social media, no mention new coffee shop opening in Guildford.

    Cappuccino in Krema.

    Now gone five, maybe just time to pop in Love Brownies Guildford before the shops close.

    I walked in, lady by the door, she says says yes, please come in, you are very welcome. Explains to me she did their design, and that the businesses started selling gifts on-line and expanded from there.

    I raised the surrealism. She took in good faith as it was her design. But accepted my point, Open Soon, then change to Now Open on the day they open.

    Good design is all well and good, but at the end of the day, it is all about the coffee.

    I ask of the coffee, I am pointed to the coffee counter and told ask there.

    I ask of their coffee.

    Caffe Society who I have never heard of. I check later, a supplier of cheap catering supply coffee, thus no interest in quality coffee.

    These days no excuse whatsoever to source poor quality coffee. In Yorkshire I am aware of Dark Woods, North Star, The Blending Room, to name but three.

    Local to Guildford, in Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, London, there are many excellent coffee roasteries, far too many to name.

    I learn Love Brownies a chain of nine coffee shops based in Yorkshire, by the end of the year 19, or maybe that was the target for a year.

    The franchise scam. Minimum investment of £50,000, £25,000 up front. Fools and their money easily parted.

    The woman I was talking to knew nothing of Brew & Brownie Bake Shop in York. Very odd when a very popular coffee shop in York with emphasis on brownies, especially when Love Brownies based in Yorkshire and ship their brownies down to Guildford every day from Yorkshire.

    The set up is like a watered down version of Caracoli, coffee shop cum deli with overpriced gifts, nether one nor the other. One reason Caracoli went bust.

    The woman I talked had no idea of Caracoli.

    Surely you do your homework?

    I ordered a cappuccino. Asked what size, Er, wrong question, the correct size.

    I wandered around to find it was waiting for me.

    It then turned very unpleasant. The woman who I had been talking to said I could not have it just as the young guy who had made it handed it to me. All very embarrassing for the young guy who was trying to hand it to me.

    I felt sorry for the guy. Allegedly trained and once again made the point cannot train baristas. It was all froth and foam, half an inch above the cup carpet bombed with chocolate. The only time I have seen a cappuccino this bad was at a dreadful coffee shop in Lincoln, The Old Mouse House Cheese Shop & Coffee Bar at the top of Steep Hill.

    No, no, no, this is not how you make and serve a cappuccino.

    If this young guy wishes to learn how to brew coffee, then please go and work in a decent coffee shop.

    I never did get to try the coffee, but from appearance, it was undrinkable, as at that point Yorkshire man ordered me out, reiterating it was a private function and my presence was not welcome.

    Welcome to Yorkshire hospitality. How to win friends and influence people.

    Yorkshire man not doing the fools and their money easily parted for the franchise any favours by almost frogmarching out a potential customer. Even worse throwing out the editor-in-chief and founder of The Little Bicycle Coffee Shop, the on-line go to for coffee culture and musings on all things coffee.

    If nothing else, Yorkshire man made a complete arse of himself. Classic case study of how not to an opening launch of a new coffee shop.

    Any new coffee shop would welcome people to their launch event, as word of mouth these days essential.

    Contrast with the launch of Blue Bear Bookshop in Farnham on Saturday.

    Everyone very welcoming, did their best to answer questions. But then they were not a franchise scam, it was a lady passionate about books, who always wanted to own a bookshop, and serving excellent coffee and local cakes.

    I never did get to try the coffee, but from what I saw I would hazard a guess undrinkable coffee. And the rows of syrups indicated undrinkable coffee.

    In which case what is the point? If want disgusting undrinkable coffee we have the tax-dodging corporate coffee chains.

    Today if opening a coffee shop, have to be passionate about coffee, know about coffee, and serve quality coffee.

    And for those who appreciate quality coffee, we already have in Tunsgate, Krema. And I cannot see any of their clientele drinking bad coffee.

    Love Brownies Guildford located in Tunsgate opposite the Tunsgate Quarter zombie shopping centre.

    The Little Bicycle Coffee Shop

    Musings on all things coffee and occasionally tea

    Keith Parkins

    Written by

    Writer, thinker, deep ecologist, social commentator, activist, enjoys music, literature and good food.

    The Little Bicycle Coffee Shop

    Musings on all things coffee and occasionally tea

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