What was the coffee scene like before you opened Wired?
There was no coffee scene to speak of – grabbing a coffee was a much more utilitarian experience than it is now, dominated by the large chains. Opening Wired was a very deliberate attempt at bringing the coffee scene we’d experienced in Sydney, Melbourne and East London, to Nottingham. The desire to bring that ‘third space’ concept that we saw working so well in other cities and just wasn’t available here.
What’s the one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting up?
How unbelievably expensive running a little coffee shop is. You might think there’s a high mark-up on a cup of coffee, but don’t get me started on the overheads. I wish I’d known the extent that Wired would take over my life. I might have made some different decisions earlier on, but I definitely would have still opened Wired.
What is the Wired philosophy?
Inclusive, relational, and welcoming – that’s our philosophy in all things. Everyone should feel comfortable and welcomed in Wired. The coffee culture I want to be part of is seeing the customer at the centre of the experience. You can come talk all sorts of geekery with our impassioned baristas, but everyone who works here has the passion for coffee alongside a passion to ensure every customer feels welcome and important. We see ourselves as being part of a wider community of independent businesses, and part of the Creative Quarter. Creating and sustaining relationships with our neighbours and regular customers is incredibly important to us.
We’re all a bit more educated now when it comes to coffee. What’s the next step?
That’s a difficult question to answer for Nottingham. The culture that has existed for years in London continues to grow despite the idea that high streets can’t sustain another coffee shop. That kind of growth has only just begun here, and we’re seeing a whole host of different coffee offers springing up around the city. I think there will be the inevitable loss of some places as the market becomes more crowded, but competition will keep the standards high.
Wired Cafe website