With venues of varying shapes, sizes and offerings across Liverpool and Manchester, LEAF began life as a tea shop and bar, aiming to challenge the formulaic environment where customers drink tea. Having grown into more spaces, including venues in LEAF at our 113 Portland Street building, Manchester, and One Fine Day at Cotton House, Liverpool, we sat down with owner, Natalie Haywood, to find out what the future has in store for the LEAF Group.
LEAF first opened its doors ten years ago in a Liverpool city centre gallery. It began as a small tea shop ran by friends, with the quest to bring quality loose-leaf tea to the city in an intimate and bohemian space.
“It started as a pilot project it was when coffee was booming, the High Street was dominated by the chains and I wanted to do something different that focused on tea which was the nation's favourite drink,” says Natalie.
When opening in Manchester, it was important to find a space that complimented the LEAF ethos. It had to be a place where good quality wholesome food, drink and music could be enjoyed whilst creating a ‘good time’ atmosphere.
“LEAF on Portland Street is a grown-up version of LEAF so it's slightly more finished, it feels a bit possibly bit slicker the interiors are but much more up to date,” says Natalie.
Natalie saw a gap in the market for the Manchester region. “We felt there was a need for a venue particularly that location in Manchester that offered a place for you to kind of hang out, have meetings, eat great food and drink,” says Natalie.
Portland Street runs through the heart of Manchester and is intertwined with the rustle and bustle of daily workers.
“The best thing about the Bruntwood experience is the people and obviously the beautiful buildings we've got two beautiful buildings but the people that we've met and the way they've helped us on the way they've introduced us to other people especially in Manchester,” explains Natalie.
Hard work pays off and this is evident from LEAF’s continuous success. Watch our latest customer stories video to find out more: