The owners of Central Bean Coffee in Newcastle, England, had a dream to develop Northumberland’s first small specialty coffee shop chain that would stand on-par with the best coffee shops in coffee Mecca Pacific Northwest cities like Seattle or Vancouver. Already highly successful restaurant, pub and nightclub operators in a town known for nightlife, Central Bean contracted coffee expert Andrew Hetzel to help set quality standards high and to create an authentic, but unique Pacific Northwest coffee experience in the north of England.
Project planning began with a journey to the Pacific Northwest, with a guided tour of Seattle and Vancouver’s better cafes for Central Bean’s management and design team. Taking away design and operational nuances gathered on the trip, Central Bean’s team began designing the hallmark look and feel that would become their recognizable branding while Andrew assisted with the creation of operations, training materials and custom designed the company’s signature coffee flavor profiles.
With build-out complete and roasting of Central Bean’s custom specialty coffees underway, the staff underwent rigorous training in beverage preparation and customer service for an opening in 2008.
After successfully established a brand known for high quality, good tasting coffee beverages, Central Bean has expanded to two locations in 3 years, with further plans for careful controlled growth in the region. Baristas that began as the front-line crew in the original flagship location have gone on to manage and co-manage others as they are developed; Central Bean baristas are encouraged to participate in regional barista competitions to further their mastery of the coffee craft. The small specialty chain has quickly established itself as a formidable competitor to larger corporate chains operating in the area and spurred new excitement and interest in specialty coffee throughout northern England.