Entrepreneurs Bruce Brown, 28, and Luke Jackson, 27, launched their coffee roasting business in Water Street, Carlisle, as a spin-off from Abbey Street based Foxes Cafe, which they took over five years ago.They woke up, smelled the coffee and turned their passion for it into a thriving business that is pulling in accolade after accolade.
They have just learned that Bruce and Luke’s Coffee is shortlisted for the Cumbria Life Food & Drink Awards.
That success comes hard on the heels of a string of others.
These include winning a place at the respected BBC Good Food Show, while the firm’s Espresso Blend achieved two out of a possible three stars in the Great Taste Awards for 2016 – a feat achieved by only eight per cent of the 10,000 entrants.
The coffee firm also last year landed a Business Boost award, courtesy of CN Group, the Carlisle-based media company that publishes the News & Star.
Judges were impressed by the passion and knowledge that is helping to drive forward the business, which roasts coffee beans in a traditional 1950s Italian drum roaster.
Luke, originally from Gretna, said: “We keep pushing ourselves and putting in for awards, reassuring ourselves that we’re doing it right.
“It’s about doing great tasting coffee.
“The main thing is about getting respect for the ingredients and the skills of the barista and upskilling the trade. We want to share our knowledge and our passion.
“Coffee is a natural ingredient and once you get consistency you get the best out of it.”
Luke said there was a “massive culture” in Carlisle at present of pushing to bring more personality to local business.
“Rather than running away to Manchester for great jobs,” he said, “let’s create them here. People are ready for it.”
All the coffees are ethically sourced.
Their slogan is “grab life by the beans”, which sums up their quirky yet passionate approach.
The pair have a mission to bring fresh, great tasting artisan coffees to a mass market. Their most popular is the Espresso Blend, which also comes in a decaffeinated version, alongside Chocolate Dream, Citrus Burst and Hardwicke Circus – each with different characteristics.
Turnover is projected to reach £200,000 next year and £800,000 by 2019, driven by ambitious expansion of direct sales.