Three small independent businesses from Greater Manchester and Cheshire have set up shop as part of a series of pop up retail and leisure outlets being introduced by Bruntwood.
Salford-based online coffee bean roaster and retailer, Heart and Graft and south Manchester Florist Ixia Flowers can be found at Trafford House in Old Trafford, while Second City Coffee can be found at Quayside in Wilderspool Park, Warrington - and they are already proving to be a big hit with Bruntwood’s customers.
It’s part of a two-pronged approach by Bruntwood to introduce a new range of customer amenities and giving small, independent enterprises a chance to shine.
Toby Sproll, head of Retail and Leisure at Bruntwood, said: “We want to deliver an enhanced and outstanding customer experience in our buildings, not only in the range of work spaces we provide, but also in our communal areas and the amenities we offer.
“It is imperative that we keep pace with changing requirements and aspirations by investing in our buildings, innovating and widening the offer for our customers and the local community.
“We are not just providing space, but a service and that is at the core of our offer. The workplace is changing, with people increasingly looking for engaging workspaces in a stimulating environment.
“So, it’s important to us to provide a rounded package of value-added customer benefits such as events, programmes and amenities which promote both wellbeing and a sense of community. That means not only lounges, outdoor spaces, bike storage and fitness facilities, but also a range of retail options.
“With this trio of pop up shops we are bringing something extra to our buildings, to our customers and their clients and the reaction has been really positive. Our plan is to keep it fresh and exciting by varying the retailers, as well introducing them to other building across the region.”
Dex Morris, who established Second City Coffee in his native Manchester in 2015 is serving coffee from his Piaggio Ape three-wheeler espresso van, ‘Luigi’. He said: “We have record-breaking sales, every day. The response from the customers here at Quayside has been quite frankly, humbling. There are other places nearby that they could go to, but they are choosing us because of our passion our ethical ethos and our unique approach.
“This opportunity and this response has meant that I have been able to offer more products and without a shadow of a doubt I have been able to accelerate my vision of having a high street coffee shop or a second van or even a whole fleet.”
James Guard of Heart and Graft set up Manchester’s first speciality coffee roastery in 2012 and sells mainly wholesale while promoting his craft and passion at festivals and competitions across the UK.
He said: “We have done pop-ups before, but this is different. We wanted to test our concept of promoting the craft of coffee making, to sell it directly and to allow people to try different filter coffees from around the world. It’s going well so far and there’s no doubt it will help us move the business and our ideas on.”
Also at Trafford House is Andrew Lomas of Ixia Flowers, who has been a florist for 30 years and has a shop in Urmston. He said: “We have ‘popped up’ a couple of times now around special occasions like Mother’s Day and Easter. It means we have been able to take our flowers to the customer directly, rather than just rely on the shop or our website and it’s most definitely given our business a boost.
“It has been a great way to advertise our business and trial new flowers and ideas and it’s led to new opportunities for us, such as flower workshops.”