It’s a big year for the Big Cof­fee Cup

Cafe mov­ing as it chalks up 25 years in busi­ness

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - Talking Politics - Ian Bunting

For 25 years Jen­nifer Flood and Linda Wat­son have been brew­ing up a storm for the peo­ple of Coat­bridge.

Now, the close friends’ beloved Big Cof­fee Cup busi­ness is on the move for the first time in more than a decade, to its third lo­ca­tion.

But not to worry, cus­tomers won’t have far to go to find them as the cafe is only re­lo­cat­ing yards from its cur­rent home at the heart of the Quad­rant shop­ping cen­tre.

Jen­nifer, who lives in Coat­bridge, ex­plained: “Plans are afoot to knock down the back end of the Quad­rant so we de­cided to move our cafe to the front end, in the site of the old Burger King.

“This means we will have our very own unit in­stead of be­ing in the cen­tre of the Quad­rant, and have a front door that leads out onto the town’s Main Street.

“A lot of peo­ple thought we were shut­ting down as parts of the Quad­rant are closed, but we are still here – and go­ing strong.

“We’re ex­cited about the move and it’s look­ing like we’ll be in the new unit by the end of the year.

“It’s not far for our cus­tomers to go and they are all fine with it; all that mat­tered to them was that we weren’t clos­ing.”

The Big Cof­fee Cup be­gan life at Coat­bridge’s Asda store in 1993, when it was known as The Cof­fee Cup, be­fore mov­ing to the Quad­rant 13 years later.

The idea be­hind the busi­ness was formed when Jen­nifer and Linda, of the Gor­bals, took in­spi­ra­tion from a late night shop­ping trip.

Jen­nifer said: “Linda and I were both sin­gle par­ents and work­ing in Queen Street; me as a cook and Linda as a wait­ress.

“We had al­ways wanted to run our own cafe and one night we were stood in the queue at Asda in Coat­bridge and no­ticed an empty unit.

“I said to one of the staff mem­bers, ‘I’d like to turn that into a cof­fee shop’.

“He was pretty sur­prised and then told us that if we could man­age to do that then we were free to give it a go.

“The rest, as they say, is his­tory and here we are, 25 years later, still run­ning our cafe.”

De­spite a dif­fi­cult start, when per­mis­sion to launch the cafe was with­drawn just days ahead of its open­ing, it didn’t take Jen­nifer and Linda long to make his­tory as their busi­ness se­cured a wel­come fi­nan­cial boost just two years into its ex­is­tence.

Jen­nifer said: “We won £5000 worth of Euro­pean fund­ing from the Women’s Lo­cal Ini­tia­tive, be­com­ing the first busi­ness in the UK to do so.

“Two years after that, we scooped the Mon­k­lands En­ter­prise Best Com­mer­cial Busi­ness of the Year award. It was a very ex­cit­ing first few years that re­ally helped us get the busi­ness off the ground.”

The co- own­ers have prided them­selves on em­ploy­ing lo­cal peo­ple and many of the staff to pass through their doors have gone on to de­velop “ex­cit­ing ca­reers”.

Jen­nifer added: “We’ve got about 14 staff mem­bers and some of them have been with us for nearly two decades.

“We try and start girls aged 14 and some of them stay with us for a few years be­fore head­ing off to col­lege or univer­sity.

“A lot of them have gone on to be­come teach­ers and busi­ness own­ers and we’re al­ways thrilled to see them progress.

“There are still quite a few girls who come in ask­ing if they can work for us, with many say­ing their mums used to work in the cafe.”

De­spite their busi­ness hit­ting the quar­ter- of- a- cen­tury mark, Jen­nifer and Linda still have the per­fect blend of job sat­is­fac­tion and a mo­ti­va­tion to keep their cus­tomers happy.

Jen­nifer said: “We still very much en­joy what we do and there’s still a buzz go­ing into work ev­ery day.

“After all these years it’s re­ally nice to be able to say that we’ve made a suc­cess of the busi­ness; but we couldn’t have done it with­out our bril­liant cus­tomers and staff.”

We’re ex­cited about the move and it’s look­ing like we’ll be in the new unit by the end of the year

Still go­ing strong Linda and Jen­nifer have run the Big Cof­fee Cup for 25 years

Per­fect blend The Big Cof­fee Cup is a pop­u­lar venue in the heart of Coat­bridge town cen­tre

Build­ing blocks Jen­nifer and Linda are hop­ing to move into the new unit by the end of the year

Fancy a cuppa? The cafe’s team of staff share a great rap­port with their cus­tomers

Long-term gain Our photo of the co-own­ers at the cafe’s first lo­ca­tion

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