Saturday, 29 June 2013

Week beginning July 1st - Cafe Society Awards results - Gold!

Earlier this year, we were asked again if we wanted to enter the annual Cafe Society Awards, of which we have entered the previous two years already.

In 2011, Kaffeine was Highly Commended, coming second to Allpress Coffee and I was personally awarded the highest accolade of the Cafe Society Award for influence on the industry. In 2012, we were awarded a Gold award, coming second to Workshop coffee and I was the guest speaker at the event after lunch, where I spoke about how it's okay to copy other successful businesses within your business, as long as you keep making improvements, because in the long run, everyone will benefit because everyone will keep improving.

Entering the competition involves presenting the judges an A4 description and financial outline of your business, as well as any evidence such as photos, menus etc. to back up your claim that you are the best. Then, judges will visit your premises and without you knowing, will assess your business not just on the coffee, but the overall business and cafe experience.

So Chef Jared, our Manager Claire and I all went to the luncheon at the Kensington Roof Gardens with about 200 other people as there were also awards for Best Chain, Best Chain Development, Cafe Design, Cafe Marketing and New Product. The owner of Workshop, James Dickson spoke after lunch about innovation in the industry and all in all, it was a lovely day.

In the morning, the three of us did a little tour of some Soho cafes including Princi, the new Damson, the new Apostrophe, Ginger and White and Fernandez and Wells, remembering the wise words of James Hoffman about how we should always check out other cafes and not just focus on your own business, which I also wrote about here.

Nervously we awaited the results after our three course lunch and as I was not speaking this year, a few glasses of wine, and we are very proud to announce that this year we were again awarded a Gold award, along with five other cafes from across the U.K., coming second to London based Nude Espresso who were awarded a Platinum award. Well done Nude!

I have always been taught, right from the age of 21 in my first luxury hotel job in a cocktail bar in Melbourne, that for a company to enter a competition is a wonderful way of building team morale, rewarding your employees, setting goals and targets and improving your standards and practices.

At that same Hotel, I once entered a team cocktail competition and came third overall. All the staff at the Hotel were pushed to enter all sorts of competitions from service to chefs. Most recently, we have had our baristas Shaun and Blazej competing in UK and Polish barista competitions and the interest and benefits this creates is a winning situation for everyone, no matter where you place.

I have always learnt and now always believe that creating competition, or entering into them, is a great way of pushing the employees, yourself and the business forward. I feel it is also great for your customers to be able to say, yes I frequent a place that is recognised for being great. (They know it's great already, and they also like to see you being recognised for the hard work they see you do).

I very much hope that we are able to enter more competitions in the years to come.

Please enjoy this weeks menu, as we have enjoyed putting it together for you and will enjoy serving it to you and thank you for your continued support.

Traditional bircher muesli with rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.50
Granola muesli with pomegranate molasses and rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.50
Fruit salad (pineapple, mango, strawberries, grapes, passion fruit) 3.70
Ciabatta roll with omelette, pancetta, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Ciabatta roll with courgette omelette, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Croissant with Italian roast ham, talleggio cheese, spinach & plum tomatoes 4.90
Seven seed bakery bloomer toast with home made preserves 1.70
Coffee, cherry and walnut toast 2.30
Banana bread 2.40

Pastries by Seven Seed bakery
French butter croissants 1.80
Pain au chocolat 2.40
Almond croissants 2.80

Baked Treats
Sweet Muffins: Plum and hazelnuts 2.40
Savoury Scone: Courgette and feta 2.40
Salted caramel and chocolate friands 2.40
Super moist chocolate brownies 2.40
White chocolate blondies 2.40
Portuguese tarts 2.00
ANZAC cookies 1.80
Chocolate chip cookies 1.80

French retro baguettes 4.90
Tuna, rouille, capers, rocket
Ham, dijon, gruyere, gherkin, red onion and spinach

Foccacias 5.00
Pancetta, strawberries cooked in balsamic vinegar, blue cheese dressing, spinach
Grilled red peppers and courgettes, basil and olive tepenade, brie, rocket

Salads: 5.50/6.50
Chicory, gooseberries, roasted chicken, elderflower dressing and sea radish seed pods
Tomato braised broad beans and hogweed
Mangetout, wild fennel, manchego, tarragon, lemon,

Tart: 4.40 or 7.50 with salad
Salmon and watercress

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