The chain with no name

manifesto‘The chain with no name’ has been bouncing around many coffee blogs recently and this gives you a small indication of what the independent coffee market seems to developing into and why it needs to evolve and adapt. Even the big players are getting involved as just the other day I walked passed two big chains and had to do a double take as they looked very individual and you might even call it eclectic.

It is true that there seems to be a ‘model’ of the independent coffee shop – with wooden surfaces exposed, bare and slightly arty looking light bulbs and the mandatory brick wall. Maybe we have seen what was the exceptional a few years ago simply rolled out and copied by others and we have to ask ourselves – why not as it seems that it is a system that works. However, for us at Artisan, we couldn’t think of anything more demotivating than simply rolling out the same old thing over and over again. It’s very rare in life that you have a completely blank canvas to work with and an opportunity to show exactly how creative and ground breaking you can be in your design and concept. It’s scary to think outside the box but so much more rewarding and fun.

So, if I was to give advice to anybody starting up – it would be to remember that vital piece of information: ‘how can you push the boundaries and not simply be the chain with no name’. It’s important to then think about how you can become part of tomorrow’s exceptional rather than simply copying what by now, is considered just normal. It could be well worth it and more rewarding in the long term.

So can this be achieved – well a lot is down to the individuals or groups that are making the decisions; how far dare they go with a concept? Do they risk being different? Let’s go one step back though to where these daring ideas are born. In essence it’s through debate, sharing ideas within the industry and going to shows like Caffe Culture where you can meet like minded people and experts at the top of their game and feed off their enthusiasm and knowledge. This is where good ideas come from and this feeds the next great thing within the industry and furthers development.

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