Name: Convoy Espresso
Location: Paintworks, Bristol
Founders: Zak Verry, Colin Ross, Josh Stott
This unique coffee space is the hard work of three friends, Colin, Josh and Zak. After 2 years of working at the Paintworks with no access to great coffee, dreaming began, spreadsheets were hashed out, savings accounts were emptied, and Convoy Espresso was born.
For those who haven't heard of you, what is Convoy Espresso all about?
Convoy Espresso is about serving the best coffee possible and introducing people to the improving speciality coffee market. We've all worked in one of the offices in Paintworks and found it impossible to get good coffee, frequently having to drive to get our fix. So, naturally, we thought why not just set up a speciality coffee shop to serve our needs?! We had no idea what we were getting into, but all love a challenge and threw ourselves in to learning everything that we needed to learn. From the outset we knew we needed a manager who we could rely on and who could handle the three of us! We didn't move forward until we found Hannah who is our wonderful manager. She keeps the whole thing together and makes the dream a reality.
Your setup is pretty unique, why did you decide to use Airstreams?
The airstreams have an amazing history of serving the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics as a hospitality suite, they were then retired to a swampy field in South Carolina before being brought to Paintworks. They are such an iconic look and they lend themselves to an experience which people remember and want to be part of.
What was the most challenging aspect of the build?
The airstreams had been used as an American diner before we stripped them out and the layers of grease and fat permeated every area. It was pretty disgusting work getting them to look as they do today!
What do you value in coffee?
Great taste. It's been so fun exploring the flavours of the different coffees that we have been brewing, from the Los Altos to the Worka-Wuri and some very locally roasted coffee from Triple Co Roast in Stokes Croft. Surrounding ourselves with so many people who know coffee so well was important for us. We want to build the best coffee experience in Bristol and to do that we have to learn from the best.
What is unique about your local coffee community?
Paintworks is a creative community of people who are involved in all aspects of the arts from digital marketing and design to architecture, sculpture or floristry. It's a great place to have a coffee shop as caffeine seems to fuel this creative process. We have a loyal customer base. The baristas know who they are serving and will usually know what the order is before they have even come through the door. It's also a community that we are collaborating with, we exhibit some of the work of the community and are looking to run a variety of events with those who work here from Yoga and workout sessions to supper clubs and workshops. It's a really exciting place to grow a business!
Convoy Espresso is open 7.30 - 4.00pm Mon-Fri, 9.00 - 2pm Sat, closed Sun at Paintworks, Bristol.