Bean & Bud coffee shop celebrates five great years

The Bean & Bud in Harrogate.

The Bean & Bud in Harrogate.

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By Graham Chalmers

It officially serves the country’s best cup of tea and it shortly celebrates it fifth birthday - yes, the Bean & Bud is certainly looking forward to 2015.

Set up by trained baristas Ruth Hampson and Hayden Howells on January 13, 2010, this popular independent cafe will be holding a birthday celebration at its premises on Commercial Street in Harrogate on Saturday, January 24.

Having also won awards for its coffee, it sounds like it should be a tasty event.

The Bean & Bud has made impressive progress since Ruth and Hayden left London in a removal van full of all their worldly goods - including a picnic cooler full of goldfish - to start a new life and new business in Harrogate.

Having sprung to life in a former video hire shop, the couple have been working together with speciality roasters and growers ever since with a simple aim - to offer a combination of quality, ethically sound ingredients and meticulous presentation.

Not that life since then has been a piece of cake, entirely, says Ruth.

“The biggest challenge was going from a guaranteed income in ‘real’ jobs to managing the cash flow of a new established business. Keeping the shop going as well as earning a living isn’t easy.”

It’s a sign of their cafe’s success that not only has it won awards for its tea but it’s become a destination for coffee fans from wider afield.

As a supporter of other local independents with similarly high standards, their birthday night celebration will include craft beers from the BAD Company in Knaresborough.

There will also be a specially brewed espresso stout using some of Bean & Bud’s coffee, and some nibbles from highly-acclaimed independent Harrogate restaurant Norse.

Running the Bean & Bud is a labour of love for Ruth and Hayden - as well as a business.

Ruth said: “The best thing about owning our own coffee shop is seeing people coming in, arranging to meet their friends and enjoying the buzz of friendship and chatter.

“It’s great to have created a space that people really enjoy coming to.”

Last year the Bean & Bud claimed the Best Tea in the UK the 2014 Beverage Standards Association (BSA) Awards, the “Michelin stars” of Britain’s hot beverage industry, for their unique Huo Shan Yellow Buds tea.

A couple of surprises are also planned for its birthday celebration which starts at 6pm.

All are welcome but the message is to make sure you get there early - it already looks like being a well-attended event.