Retailer Story; Quills Coffee

Chelsea Slater

Who are you and what business do you own at REX?

Hi I’m Lee and I’m the Managing Director at Quills Coffee Ltd.

Why did you want to open an independent coffee shop?

I’ve always loved spending time in coffee shops, they used to be my go to place if I needed to write essays in uni, find a space to read, or meet up with mates. Having a space outside of work or home where I could spend time that wasn’t focussed around a pub or a club was great. Believe it or not I got into brewing coffee when I was studying Philosophy at uni and thought it fitted the deep thinking, bearded philosopher stereotype! Then it became a hobby that developed into more of a passion. When I partnered up with my friend Mark to discuss setting up a business which supported working outside of an office, and studying away from a library, a coffee shop was the obvious way forward.

Why did you want to open an independent coffee shop in Liverpool and why did you choose REX?

We’re both born and bred in Anfield and West Derby, so it was always going to be Liverpool first. Although we didn’t know anyone in the business world or have any finances to support us, we’d see other independent retailers on the high street and think they can’t all be from rich backgrounds, so there must be way for us to do it too. Rex came as an opportunity only after about 2 years of developing the business. We progressed from a year of planning, to getting going as an events pop up with the IFB2014. At the end of these events we were given Matt’s name as someone to speak to about retail space in the city centre. We continued to speak with each other until Rex was offered as a serious opportunity.

Best part about owning your own business?

Being able to take responsibility for how your business runs and develops, and knowing that what you are doing makes you happy. I always used to get frustrated working for generic companies just to pay the bills. When I worked in a call centre I could physically feel time slipping away whilst I repeated the same day week after week. Not all call centres are bad, but for me it felt like I was on a conveyer belt to old age. Although the money isn’t guaranteed in owning your own business, the
satisfaction from making and standing by decisions that can directly build a successful business matters more.

We're in need of a hot drink.. what would you recommend ;) ? 

It’s freezing now and hard to get out from under the duvet in the morning, so how about a full bodied, rich Sumatran Blue coffee, brewed in a siphon filter to give it a smooth velvety taste?


Follow Quills on Twitter @QuillsCoffeeLtd

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