It’s been a busy time for Paddy Bishopp and Scott Russell, founders of the growing artisan coffee business Paddy and Scott’s.
With outlets across the country and high street cafes in Framlingham, Bury St Edmunds and recently in Hadleigh, their mission to become the foremost cafe brand in East Anglia is well underway.
Paddy Bishopp took some time out to chat about his business and why he chooses to live and work in Suffolk.
What made you decide to develop a coffee business?
I left behind my London sales and marketing background to follow my passion for food and drink. First to launch Eat Anglia in 2004, a food and drink home delivery business, followed by my award-winning café/deli. The judges highlighted the quality of the coffee, so when my coffee roaster moved abroad I saw an opportunity to launch a young, trendy vibrant coffee company with Scott, my very talented entrepreneurial business partner and friend.
What makes Suffolk such a good base for Paddy & Scott’s?
To be fair, geographically it is not perfect, as to get to our clients outside Suffolk, whether Cotswold, Yorkshire, Cheshire, the Midlands, we have an extra hour’s journey to get there. BUT this is worth it as Suffolk is just a great place to live. We are a very family orientated company (Scott and I have 7 boys between us) so working in Suffolk means our families get to enjoy living here.
We are also surrounded by so many wonderful businesses, especially in food and drink and it is such an entrepreneurial county that we all learn from and support each other.
What makes your cafes different from others?
Scott and I have been asked this questions many times and Scott puts it very well: ‘It is the overall experience. Great coffee is a given, great food is a given and customer service with a smile is a given. We have created an atmosphere which is very much your third place, where you choose to go and do what you want, relax with a paper, meet friends, escape from the norm of life and or just to enjoy great coffee. We hire for attitude and train for skill, for us it is all about service with a smile and we get such great feedback on the Bean Team’.
Exciting news about your new cafe in Hadleigh. What made you choose this town in particular?
It is such a great town that we felt would want and could support a business like ours. It is our first venture with The Co-op who wanted to give their customers somewhere they could relax before, during or after shopping but also wanted to bring more people onto the High Street and support all the businesses on it. The feedback from the people of Hadleigh and other businesses has been very positive on our arrival.
What other developments have you got planned?
Our aim is to become the number 1 East Anglia café brand that is also renowned for high quality coffee within hotels, restaurants and independent cafes. We want to partner with businesses that care about quality and understand the importance of the training commitment required to be able to serve a great cup of coffee. We have a wonderful barista training school in Earl Soham that is available free of charge to all of our clients.
What’s the most popular coffee you sell and which is your personal favourite?
The most popular coffee we sell in our retail range is our Easy Days, a mild, easy drinking 100% Columbian coffee, very smooth with subtle orange blossom floral and milk chocolate overtones.
I prefer a darker, slightly stronger roast and I love Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. My favourite Paddy & Scott’s blend is our Chit Chat, it’s great after food with a rich caramel, chocolaty overtone.
Do you ever drink tea?
We also have our own English Breakfast Tea blended for us that is Rainforest Alliance certified but I am a massive fan of Pukka Herbal Teas which is also available in our cafes, with my favourite being their Peppermint and Liquorice.
Have you got a ‘funniest moment’ relating to your business that you can share?
Scott and I playing around with new blends in his garage whilst enjoying a bottle of Grappa. Someone had told us that espresso and Grappa went really well together and we wanted to invent an espresso that was perfect with Grappa. We have never laughed so much and somehow came up with an amazing coffee but also a very sore head in the morning…
What three things do you enjoy most about living and working in Suffolk?
The endless activities we can do with the children from the coast to river walks in Woodbridge, to playing mock battles in Framlingham Castle; the many amazing places to eat such as Kesgrave Hall, Tuddenham Mill, The Leaping Hare and The Fox & Goose in Fressingfield; it’s also very laid back and a chilled way of life.
What are the most fun facts about both you and Scott?
I still hold the 800 and 1500m record at Framlingham College (25 years this year) but recently got out-sprinted by my 13 year old son… and Scott is a qualified pilot; he once made a gold subbuteo set for The Sultan of Brunei and he used to sell oven cleaner door to door.
Finally, please leave us with your ‘thought for the day’
I am on the Business Development Board of The Suffolk Community Foundation and this teaches me that however bad my day is, there are always people having a harder time. It’s a cause I am very proud to be part of.
Images from the top: Paddy Bishopp (left) and Scott Russell; Bury St Edmunds cafe; the new cafe in Hadleigh; inside the Framlingham cafe.