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INTERVIEW WITH JESSICA SALISBURY - Portland Coffee Co Manager
It’s a new coffee shop owned by the University of Nottingham Students’ Union, we opened in September 2017 and operate as an independent coffee shop on campus.
The previous provider was moved out and there were a lot of requests from the students to do something much better. The University supported the development financially and there were also some real advocates for speciality coffee at director level. We were able to develop a large area with a substantial budget and a lot of support.
We get a lot of students using it as a workspace or break area, staff like to arrange meetings here and we serve a lot of take-away coffee. Contrary to popular belief, 25% of students do not drink alcohol at all so for them an independent coffee shop takes on the role of a bar.
Matcha tea, shakes, breakfast tea and hot chocolate, we do have some requests for new style lattes including charcoal. We serve a lot of alternative milks and a large proportion of our menu is veggie, vegan or gluten free.
We all knew about 200 Degrees from the shops in Nottingham and we wanted the exceptional coffee, great brand and high quality training that comes as standard. Service is all-important to us and when we needed to get the team up to speed quickly the barista training from 200 Degrees was vital.
It’s been very well received and very busy so we wouldn’t have done anything differently. On the opening day there was a queue before we opened, then there’s a moment where you realise it actually works and people think it’s good, but there’s always a little bit of worry there.
When you think about how many people have worked on this coffee and you’re the last person to touch it, you realise you have a great responsibility to get it absolutely right.
Interviewer: Matt Shelton