Harris and Hoole – Independent Coffee Chain?

Getting out of a cab last week in Uxbridge the first thing to greet Lynda and I  was a sign saying “great coffee served here” quite a statement.

Harris and Hoole Uxbridge01

Looking up we saw a new coffee house called Harris and Hoole, the name sounded very poetic [the names originates from a diary exert by Samuel Pepys], the glass fronted exterior was covered in doodles telling me lots of info about the company and their ambitions.

Harris and Hoole Uxbridge03

It dosnt take more than a few doodles and a sniff of an independent to draw us in; and we weren’t disappointed the interior decor looked really great. The design is following the very popular trend of recycling, renewing and reinventing.

Harris and Hoole Uxbridge05

There were all the ingredients of an independent store a community notice board, great music playing, people playing board games, live events advertised, hand written signage, quirky toilets and very friendly, knowledgable staff.

Harris and Hoole Uxbridge07

But there was something a little bit too ordered about the place, it looked and felt like an independent but in a “Disney” sense, i couldn’t quite put my finger then my business partner googled the company and found out that they were independent but financially backed by Tesco a big sigh followed this news.

But after  looking at their website reading about the owners the Tolleys and reading quite a few press articles a few of which were giving them a hard time for supposedly deceiving their customers by not mentioning Tesco [it does clearly and proudly mention that they are backed by Tesco on their website] I thought does it really matter that they are backed by one of the biggest companies in the UK? Arnt a lot of companies looking for investors? And the banks are forthcoming with their money these days; and didn’t Tesco start out as an independent.

After drinking one of the best lattes i have had in a while i came to the conclusion that it dosnt matter, the most important thing is that its a great new business giving the public a choice, the town a lovely looking shop and lots of people job opportunities.

But don’t let my rantings sway you, pop along to one of their branches, look at their website and and decide for your self.

PS, it did feel a bit ordered but hopefully will get a little bit rough around the edges once the hoards stark flocking to it, which I’m sure they will.

Click here to read an interview with Nick Tolley, Chief executive of Harris and Hoole.

Click here to visit the Harris and Hoole website.

About Phill

Creative Director at International Visual

Posted on January 28, 2013, in Restaurants & Coffee Shops and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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