I’m not sure how you are connected to coffee, but for those who live in the UK and are thinking of setting up a coffee shop anytime soon, then this year’s must visit event is definitely “Caffe Culture” 2008 from 21-22 May at Kensington Olympia, London. Caffe Culture is basically the only UK and probably Europe event dedicated to the coffee shop business, which will feature over 200 suppliers from coffee beans and coffee machines to cups, tea, food, shop outfitters/architects,etc. In short, if you wanted to open up a modern cafe, then all you want will be there, in terms of suppliers and know-how, plus you get to drink lots of free coffee made by professionals. The first one was in 2006 and ever since then I’ve been visiting. Initially I was planning a move back to London to open a cafe in central London – what a dream – but things didn’t work out – long story. So in 2006, I went to visit potential suppliers. In 2007, I was planning on opening a cafe in Vienna (Austria), where I live – I got the suppliers, which helped a lot to get realistic figures for my business plan, but again that’s been put on hold. I did get to meet Jim Hoffmann, World Barista Champion for 2007 and got some valuable advice from him. In any case, all the stuff I learnt from talking to lots of people has helped me gain a lot of knowledge on coffee and if I do ever open up a store one day God willing, I would we a bit more wiser as to what to do and what not to do or serve. In 2008, I’m just going as “coffee enthusiast and art photographer” and hope to get some contacts for my pictures, so wish me luck. 2008 plans to be even bigger with stuff like the SCAE-UK Latte Competition and seminars for baristas, managers and potential cafe owners. I plan to report back with pictures.
For now, click on www.caffeculture.com