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Café Profile: Foundation Coffee House

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Name: Foundation Coffee House
Location: Manchester
Founders: NoChintz
Instagram: @fdncoffee

Foundation Coffee House just ticks every box. With bespoke design and interior routed throughout their sites in the Northern Quarter, and more recently at their second location on Whitworth Street, Foundation are much more than a coffee shop, they're an experience. Above all else, they are committed to quality of product. This is apparent in their accurate and considered approach to coffee and food. We caught up with them just before they launched their second site.

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For those who haven't heard of you, what is Foundation all about? 

Our motto at Foundation is ‘Coffee is Everything’. This is because coffee is at the heart of everything that we do, and it informs how we approach everything that FDN Coffee has to offer: with quality, consideration and constant refinement. That’s not to say coffee is all that we have on offer. We are all about creating an environment where people can eat, drink, meet or shop. Our design led spaces create a backdrop where people can socialise, host meetings, showcase artworks, hold workshop, learn about coffee and more with a high quality menu of the finest coffee, cocktails, brunch and cakes to compliment.

What is your approach to coffee?

Meticulous. Our coffee is our constant. It epitomises the care and attention we put into building the coffee house brand, and it the crux of the business. Coffee has created a new culture and lifestyle within cities and it keep pushing us forwards as we introduce new items such as the launch of our single origin soft serve ice cream this year.

Each time we visit your shop in the Northern Quarter, we are blown away by its design. Could you tell us a bit more about its style and influences?

Foundation Coffee House is actually the pride and joy of a Manchester based design studio NoChintz. The team at NoChintz created the Foundation brand and opened the first location in 2015. The influences which shaped the brand and the space draw back to the design studios interior architecture practices and Manchesters industrial past. The name Foundation is literally derived from the start of any build, representing FDN Coffee as the starting point from which great things can happen – and its proving to be right! The space is littered with details such as bespoke brass ruler trims, bolt head tiling and exposed finishes which celebrate our industrial past and industrious ethos.

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You recently launched your second site last at Whitworth Locke, how is it all going?

It’s really rewarding to finally have a second location open. It’s rewarding to see that everything we have built at the first location can move and grow across our city. Being located within the Locke hotel is fantastic as we are surrounded by individuals whom share our passion in creating memorable experiences which are accessible to all. Where creativity is allowed lead and drive forwards a successful venture.

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Is your approach with this shop the same?

We have learned a lot in the last 3 years at our Northern Quarter site, that space allows us to play and test new ideas. FDN Whitworth will definitely be underpinned by the same focus on a coffee centered menu and packed diary of events and activations. But we also want to make sure the Whitworth location is able to create its own identity and its allowed to grow in its own way like Northern Quarter has. 

Their is a real vibe in Manchester within speciality coffee community, why do you think this is?

Passion. Its not competitive, there is a sense of collaboration and nurturing between coffee houses – and this passion and focus is all about the coffee, which draws us together. In September we hosted an event called ‘Barista Buddies’ which brought all the local and not so local baristas to FDN NQ for an evening of brewing games and competitions. It was a really fun night and we are looking forwards to getting more events like this lined up.

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What are your plans for the year ahead?

2019 will be the biggest year yet. We are really going to push our brand activation, events and experiences – bringing even more to our customers to enjoy. The second site will bed in and we will see what happens with the rumours of a third location…

Visit Foundation Coffee House today. 

Credit Nicholas Worley and NoChintz for the photography.


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