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When Simon met John

Written by Simon Fraser, published 10-28-19

As we hit the 6 month anniversary of the opening of The Roastery, we thought we should take a moment reflect on how and why we are here (in Shepreth) and what we’ve been up to since we opened the doors.

Simon Met John

One of the most common questions asked by customers is why did you choose this location for your roastery?

The answer is why not? What often scares people when opening a business is not having any proven trade, footfall or demand for a product or service, which is of course completely justifiable. The difference here is that we didn’t need to justify demand for our new site as it had a purpose as a roastery for our Cambridge cafes, barista training and supply for wholesale, a storehouse for Kandula Tea we recently and proudly acquired and an artisan bakery for the mountain of sourdough and sweet treats that is devoured in our cafes on a daily basis. Oh and I nearly forgot a third café and kitchen that might just become busy if we get our coffee and brunch offering right.


Simon met John Wright the Owner of Wrights Mowers next door and landlord of our lovely new space whilst riding a Classic Sunbeam motorbike on a sunny Sunday. John introduced himself as he had the same rarely seen bike and this is where the synergy between coffee, motorbikes and lawnmowers began! John kindly moved his large former workshop area over to the other side of the site and invited us to house our new roastery here after we outgrew our former space in Stapleford. We of course had to represent a nod to this chance encounter with a motorbike perched up high on one the main steel beams above our coffee bar.

Simon on a sunbeam

As the doors opened we were blown away by the reception. We quickly became very busy by good old word of mouth, and quite how fast this happened was reassuring. The idea of an open plan space where the art of coffee roasting, barista training, bread baking and brunch kitchen could be seen in a warm and inviting space full of the essence and DNA of Hot Numbers was the vision. Good coffee and brunch, jazz portraits by local artist John Lyons, a kind of New York loft warehouse full of plants and activities type space accompanied now by the wonderful smell of fresh bread replacing petrol fumes and oil of times before!

We’ve hosted a book reading, a fair few birthday parties, some seriously funky Jazz gigs, countless community groups, cramming students, busy mums, local work meets, some very nice dogs and 200 roaring vintage motorbikes for the Distinguished Gentlemans Ride that all have their new home here.

We want to thank all of our lovely customers, staff for making Hot Numbers HQ a truly inviting and unique place to spend your time. So whatever you do here’s to customers old and new and here’s the years to come, call in to say hello. It’s Coffee, Music & Conversation, It’s Hot Numbers!

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