Cocktails and coffee have always made a great pairing since the invention of the espresso martini, but now they’ll be served up side by side at a concept café opening at the International Finance Centre later this month.
Coffee roaster and café business Cooper & Co. is setting up shop in the IFC5 building, which will put something a little stronger than caffeine on the menu.
Hoping to bring “a bit of soul” to the new office blocks on the esplanade and become a hub in the area, Managing Director David Warr and Marketing Manager Kate Sloan sat down with Express to discuss their vision for the space...
Pictured: David and Kate ahead of the new concept café's opening later this month.
David said that, although introducing alcohol is new territory for the business, the new café at IFC5 is tapping into “a trend in the coffee business” where coffee shops transform into bars, adapting and “moving through the day as people’s requirements change.”
“Coffee shops have become very, very important as a community meeting place in society. They’ve almost taken over from the pub… So, the question is how do you change that up a bit?”
His answer is the new Coopers at IFC5. He promises a “value-added drinks range” of craft beers and cocktails and hopes that the coffee shop ambience will mean everyone can feel comfortable enjoying a drink there – with others or alone.
Elaborating on the phrase “concept café” which is how the new space was announced on social media earlier this week, Kate says: “I don’t think anyone will have seen anything like this in Jersey before.”
Pictured: The new space was announced on social media. (Facebook/Cooper & Co.)
As well as bringing in the new elements of a bar and a kitchen – both of which are firsts for the business – both Kate and David speak about the design and layout of the space being crucial to the whole operation.
Comprising a statement ‘green wall’ made entirely of plants as well as a poured concrete bar, they say that the design is deliberately artisanal, with a focus on collaborating with local artists and makers.
David describes the fit-out, which was done by his son - a Royal College of Art graduate Oscar Warr – as being influenced by brutalist constructions like the Barbican in London which also pairs greenery with concrete.
In addition to this, they both speak enthusiastically about the physical and mental health benefits of bringing the outside in by incorporating plants in this way.
Pictured: The new café boasts a statement 'green wall'.
From cleaning the air to improving wellbeing, the ‘green wall’ might possibly prove to be promoting healthy eating as well, with David hoping that the café might be able to grow its own salad on the wall in the future.
Even as the fit out is still in progress, the space includes features from Jersey Oak and St. Helier Iron Works as well as nods to Coopers’ heritage and links with sustainable coffee farmers across the world.
“We want people to remember where it’s come from as well,” Kate offers. David agrees, adding: “What we’re trying to do is create an environment which is thoughtful.”
In terms of food, the new ‘concept café’ will be offering “brunchy” food in an environment which David hopes will cater to people’s different lifestyles.
“Sometimes people have time to sit down, sometimes people want to grab and go but it’s got to be nice and it’s got to be value for money.”
David mused that part of the challenge presented by this new offering is how to balance the old with the new.
As one of the island’s oldest surviving brands, he spoke of treading this line: “We’ve been around since 1890. How do we hang onto ourselves and what we are when we’re sat in the International Finance Centre in an office block that could be in another city – you could be in Singapore, Hong Kong wherever – but how do we give people that feel that ‘hey this is a bit of Jersey’?"
Cooper’s newest café at IFC5 will be opening its doors on 23 September.
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