The speciality coffee industry is growing in the UK, I hesitate to say booming, but there are now more cafes where I can drink good coffee than there were last year, more quality focussed roasters than I can think of quickly, more speciality focussed importers than ever before.

This is a good thing for customers, it is a good thing for these businesses too

The initial fear of an established business will always be – competition, a threat?,do i have to change what I do, or fight to retain my dominance -I don’t think that is the case

There is huge benefit in the repetition of shared messages from multiple independent sources. The increased impact on both customers and suppliers that an increase in this part of our industry brings, spreads interest, converts more customers but also improves leverage on other positions in the industry to provide the unique things we need, like actively growing coffee that tastes better, importers choosing to move better coffee over less good coffee, roasters buying and roasting better coffee, businesses making tools (machines, grinders, baskets, brewers) that help us deliver on our promises,  books and courses and information that help us grow..



There is power in a union…

There are a limited number of people buying coffee, there is a limit to how much coffee they will, can and should drink but there are a couple things to bear in mind..

  • Unlike the pub industry (thanks Mr Glew) there is demand for more cafes, almost everywhere at least according to some market research
  • speciality cafes do not exist in a vacuum – we are filling gaps in the wider cafe industry, drawing customers from bigger businesses which are present everywhere but not fulfilling all needs well

We are rarely fighting over the same few ‘speciality-aware’ people in even the smallest town, and if we are, we’re missing a trick…

The vast majority of potential customers, both coffee drinkers and cafes, (and arguably the ones who will be most loyal, most valuable in the long term)  aren’t buying from other speciality roasters or cafes, they are buying bad coffee elsewhere, for many reasons – location, convenience, good and bad previous experiences

We don’t need to fight amongst ourselves over the people who already know us, what we do and are making decisions based on that knowledge, we don’t need to say bad things about people who generally care about the same stuff as us with tiny differences in detail and delivery – Businesses focussed on speciality are not fighting each other over market share, the ‘speciality industry’ as a whole is taking share from the ‘industry’ and this is an exciting thing, with room for us all to grow stronger, better, together

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