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HomeBusinessMade in Britain: A music-based coffee brand U:who

Made in Britain: A music-based coffee brand U:who

Tim Colledge, founder of the brand of coffee u:who talks about how his business is a blend of his passion for great music and great coffee.

Let us know about your company?

As a kid, while holidaying in Cornwall I always loved the idea of having a cafe after having walked up from an afternoon on the beach to purchase an ice cream in the shop that was located nearby and overlooking the bay. My first studies led me into health care, but my love for the idea never faded away.

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Prior to the pandemic, I had begun to look into the possibilities of how I could manage a cafe to set a goal to achieve. But, when the pandemic came out, the plan changed. After a few days of being in my garden throughout the lockdown in spring of 2020, a variety of thoughts and discussions came to my head as clearly as the day. The idea was born, and the research began on how to connect all of it. Within a month, the first product and website was available for sale. As the founder of U:Who, I have creatively created from a concept procuring and protecting the supply chain designing infrastructure and being in every step of the process from the bean to the cup.

What’s the main difference?

Our belief is that choosing to do the right thing should not be an USP and that using environmentally friendly packaging and making sure that a fair wage is paid is a must. We’re focused on letting our customers take pleasure in music, coffee and the ever-growing community of customers being aware that our company is always looking to improve and more equitable. We are looking to create an organization that is accountable to its customers and the earth we live on.

How can you get people to know about your company?

Our business has been largely spread via the word-of-mouth. We were fortunate enough to get featured in The National Press within 6 months of launching. We are currently putting together our social marketing and media campaigns online and a new website that replaces the old one which I created myself. It’s a lot more mature, however, it must be completed. With the new year approaching and we are able to begin going out to visit various independent hotels and join other companies, as well as increasing our direct consumer base.

How have business operations been in the last few days since this Covid-19 epidemic?

Like many others we have seen it go fluctuating. We have witnessed increases of over 120% and the next month we have seen it plummet. Self-funding a start-up in the face of a pandemic in an environment that is competitive has been quite a learning curve.

What’s the most difficult aspect of running a business?

Being in front of people. I am sure that people will appreciate our coffee. They will appreciate reading our blogs and newsletters and hopefully will understand what we’re trying accomplish as a company and as a local community.

Do you have any kind of financial aid for your company?

We are totally self-funded by my work in healthcare which, in the time of the pandemic, has typically involved long hours when I was returning to support the NHS after having previously worked within the private industry. We have not received any financial support other than the bounce-back loan at this time.

What are the most difficult challenges you’ve had to face?

Finding trusted contacts. Marketing, supply chain accounting. These are the normal things. There’s been plenty of learning, and bad decisions taken. But, the team is forming and we’re now trying to build momentum.

What’s the best choice you’ve made thus far?

Making the risk of a lifetime. Sometimes, you need to try it.

Are there any regrets?

No. Never-ending learning possibilities. I’ve certainly made mistakes, but I’ve made quick decisions to ensure that they did not impact us anymore or put us at unneeded risk.

What are the three golden rules of success?

Know your limits.

Find intelligent and knowledgeable individuals and surround yourself them.

Be attentive to your customers.

What’s the next step for your company?

We are expanding our offerings and our expanding our customer base. There’s plenty of coffees that are on the road in the coming months for special guests and we are also expanding our product range too.

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