It’s a big year for the Big Coffee Cup
Cafe moving as it chalks up 25 years in business
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Despite a difficult start, when permission to launch the cafe was withdrawn just days ahead of its opening, it didn’t take Jennifer and Linda long to make history as their business secured a welcome financial boost just two years into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