Review: Bean & Bud prove why they're the cornerstone of Harrogate's indie revolution
Opening up a coffee shop in a trendy part of town which boasts quality ingredients, speciality beans in a comfortable if not slightly alternative atmosphere, is hardly ground-breaking nowadays.
Walk around the up-and-coming areas in London, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool and there’s an independent coffee shop on every corner of every street.
But, flashback seven years and this most certainly wasn’t the case in these metropolitan cities. Let alone Harrogate.
Harrogate was a different town entirely seven years ago. An exciting and diverse cafe and restaurant scene almost couldn’t be imagined in amongst the classy offerings of Bettys et al.
Which is what makes Bean & Bud’s arrival and continued success since opening up on Commercial Street seven years ago all the more impressive.
Trained baristas Ruth Hampson and Hayden Howells downed their tools in lavish London and made the daring trip north to pursue their dreams of opening up their new business.
But this was not any new business. The couple were intent on introducing a more modern coffee shop experience, complete with their favourite speciality roasters, growers and even a whole leaf tea.
With nothing of the like in Harrogate upon their arrival, and only a few to talk about in London, it was certainly a risk for the couple. But with a constant flow of customers in and out of the shop this Tuesday lunchtime, the risk has certainly paid off.
“When we moved here people went to places like Bettys which is good but it’s old school,” Ruth explained.
“We wanted to bring a more modern experience, a third wave. There was nobody doing what we were doing, providing a really good choice of coffee and tea.
“It was quite a new concept that we were bringing to people, educating people on the origin of the coffee and we were here before anyone else was doing this.
"It was a bit of a culture shock but since we have been here, Harrogate has become a lot younger and a lot more diverse in terms of what people do. It’s a lot more original and has come a long way.”
It’s not luck, good fortune or good timing which has helped Bean & Bud to prosper in this time. It’s passion. Without passion for the best quality suppliers, products and ingredients; their outcome could have been very different.
Everything at Bean & Bud has an air of professionalism to it. From their extensive knowledge of what it takes to make a great coffee, the meticulous presentation of the cafe and the products, not to mention their award-winning tea and it’s easy to see why this has become the cornerstone of Harrogate’s indie revolution.
“What we have always been doing is to get more people to be more discerning about coffee and tea. Go for quality rather than the cheaper option. You get better quality here and a lot more diverse offering,” Ruth added.
“We try and be a really welcoming place. We try and educate people about coffee but not in a snobby way. It’s a chilled out place to be, you don’t need to fit in, you take what you want from it.”