We caught up with Matt and Keon from Boo Boo Coffee, winners of our Small Business Big Success competition to talk about great coffee and what inspired them to start their business.
How is Boo Boo Coffee different from other coffee retailers?
As a family-run business we have a certain sense of pride about what we do, and really care about our reputation in the local area.
Because we’re independent, we can pick and choose really high quality products so that you’re not just getting a bog standard cup of tea or coffee. We’ve tried to make Boo Boo Coffee as artisan as possible, from locally made cakes and bread to London-based, high-end coffee roaster – we like to tell a story of how and why we select our ingredients and suppliers.
What inspired you to enter the competition?
We are new to this business and knew that the prize package would help us out a lot, and provide us with some advice and guidance. We’re still learning every day!
What do you think the judges liked about your success story?
We were hoping that they’d see that we were genuine guys, who believe we’ve changed our end of the high street by creating a hub where families can take their kids and have a great time.
Also, we want to open up opportunities to local teenagers by teaming up with Allpress in London to train them to be top quality baristas. It’s a complex art that is often overlooked, but there’s a science to it.
From a commercial point of view, this will give us a sustainable supply of baristas; but it also gives the kids confidence, experience and professional skills that they can take wherever they want in the world. We’d like to do more of that.
What were your thoughts on the night of the awards?
At the awards event we looked around the room and thought, blimey, there are some big businesses in here – we were genuinely shocked to hear our names called out!
We initially thought we could use the dinner as a business networking opportunity, maybe talk to West Bromwich Albion FC manager Tony Pulis for a few minutes, and offer the WBA team free espressos. Never in a million years did we think we’d win.
What are you plans to do next?
Apart from kicking-off the Boo Boo Academy for barista training, we have already applied for a licence to handle night-time trade to expand on the café and bar feel and create a meeting place vibe.
Also, we could open a second site. Boo Boo Coffee was named after my daughter, and I’ve just had a baby boy. We will now need another coffee shop named after him!