WAKE UP & SMELL THE COFFEE…
Alongside a thriving retail business, Lancashire based coffee roaster Exchange Coffee Company also offers an extensive wholesale service and barista training school, writes Sarah de Waard. Photography: DocB Photography
Established for over 30 years and with six retail outlets in Blackburn, Clitheroe, Skipton and Todmorden, Exchange Coffee Company have built a reputation as the place to go for the world’s finest freshly roasted coffee.
The company also provide wholesale coffee, machines, equipment and accessories to a large variety of businesses from their roastery warehouse in a converted Old Baptist Chapel in Blackburn.
The adjoining former Sunday school has been recently renovated and now boasts a showroom with a barista training school, where wholesale customers are trained to make coffees to the highest standards.
General Manager Richard Isherwood tells me: “The training school is a great showcase for the coffee and equipment we provide. We have found that more of our wholesale customers want in-house training so they can ensure their staff know how to get the best possible results.
“Even with the finest beans, without proper training, a cup of coffee can lack flavour and quality, and it’s also important for staff to know how to clean and maintain the equipment properly. They can also see how the coffee is roasted and learn about the different beans so they can pass that knowledge on to their customers.”
Wholesale customers can buy, rent or lease coffee machines and equipment. The beans are roasted to order, ensuring each batch is as fresh as possible. There is a huge range of carefully sourced single estate coffee beans from across the world to choose from. Businesses even have the option to create a bespoke blend.
“We are able to supply both the machines and the coffee. This benefits our customers as there is only one point of contact as we can deal with all aspects of machine maintenance,” Richard explains. “We have a very close partnership La Cimbali, who have been manufacturing Espresso machines just outside Milan for over 100 years. La Cimbali also have a nationwide team of engineers which means we can now supply their machines and our coffee across the whole of the UK.
“Running our own coffee houses as well as being a wholesaler gives us a unique insight which enables us to give very practical advice to our customers,” says Richard. “We live and breathe coffee every day and we hope our enthusiasm for what we do shines through. The coffee industry is constantly evolving, so we are always roasting and cupping new coffees to ensure our relationship with our wholesale customers is a successful one. We are proud to have built such a strong reputation within the industry over the last 30 years.”
Exchange Coffee Company
Clitheroe BB7 2DP