New coffee shop at market research stage


A1 use doesn’t only restrict the food per-se, it also stipulates that there is a significantly higher turnover on takeaway compared with sit-in. So, a simple coffee & sandwich bar taking more money on sit-ins than takeaways should be at least part A3. Another consideration to bear in mind is whether or not the landlord would allow such a change of use.


Thanks - your clarity on the differences and thoughts from a landlord’s perspective would be helpful because A1 is unclear and I’ve discussed it with many people (lawyers included). Feel free to message me direct on this.


For me, good coffee, bread and sandwiches would fit the bill!


Regarding the A1/A3 thing, as it’s a small premises and you’re intending to sell bread and other bits and pieces, the business model could be similar to Aga’s Deli, which seems to do a lot of takeaway trade. I’d be surprised if you need to go down the A3 route, which makes things a lot easier for you.


I think it would be great if you regularly changed / rotated the types of cakes on offer, as the biggest problem I have with local coffee shops is that I get sick of the cake offerings and therefore stop buying. Agas used to have loads of new types of cakes in regularly but now they seem to have stagnated which is a shame… You should also never use the same cake wholesaler as your competitors - I swear I’ve seen the same chocolate and Guinness cake pop up in several places in HOP/ FH, which is not what a customer wants from a small independent.


Just to prove that you can’t please all the people all the time…

I’d say that sometimes it’s nice to have some things remain - the cherry frangipane at Brown & Green in Mayow Park was brilliant and I was very sad when they stopped selling it (and told them so…)

Some of us fear change.


Ha. An older coffee topic just popped up and reminded me of something that would drag me away from Forest Hill.

I would love a good alternative to espresso based coffees. I would kill for a really good quality gravity driven drip filter coffee using the best quality beans. It doesn’t have to be a hario but something like that.


St Davids do pour over,don’t they? I remember talking to them about why it cost £3.50 / cup (answer is more coffee and server time used than espresso drinks).


I really love this idea! As a young couple (without children) we moved to Marler Road last year and have found as many others have mentioned, that walking in to Forest Hill can feel like a bit of a trek and also Catford isn’t my favourite place to be yet… So somewhere that actually does decent coffee and tea, fresh bread, would be so welcome. I was excited when I saw Small World Coffee opening… but it’s a bit average and not the most exciting place to sit inside. If it had good decor and was a nice place to sit in on the weekend, that would be ideal. We find ourselves bypassing FH altogether and going to ED for places like Kanella & Co. Good luck!


There are 2 Costa, actually


No, Not another yuppy posh bloody coffee shop , bit short of those in SE23.!!
A sensible priced fresh bakers would be my personal choice, Not cheap and nasty supermarket fodder
nor Borough Market prices . Thanks


I meticulously make myself a cafetiere every morning so I’ve been thinking about that and the pour over options. The latter is a lot more time consuming to the server but if you think people would only order that if they were staying in then it could work for sure. Let me know what you think.


Hi there. I agree about Small World, took so long to open and looked promising (I had a lovely wrap) but I returned and was disappointed. Fantastic location too. I also jump on the 185 to Dulwich a lot! I’ve had quite a lot of feedback from parents so would love to hear more about your preferences. Thanks.


Hopefully I can offer both yuppy posh coffee and sensibly priced quality bread :blush:. There really isn’t much the Catford side of se23 so I don’t believe the market is currently saturated. If you have any other thoughts please let me know. Thanks.


Use a DIY pour over, easier for you and it is , as my 13 year old points out, on trend. Just let the customer do it for themselves.


@BlytheHillShop Another one for the pantry would be - AFAIK Giuseppe is looking to stock some local stores with his excellent cured meats.

In terms of filter/brew coffee I’d say the most simple & consistent option would be a batch brew:

This gets rid of you having to be involved heavily and delivers a good product if done right.


Hi, I disagree with what others have said about over saturation of coffee shops in se23, this end of the se6 border is lacking in a decent one. In regards to opening hours, weekends only is probably smart, although as some others have mentioned, Fridays could also work well for you. I’m also someone who has Fridays off, so it would be nice to have somewhere reliable on my doorstep to visit.
I know it’s a completely different kind of area, but Romeo Jones in Dulwich Village is a good balance of deli/bakery & cafe and manages it all in a relatively small plot. They also for a time started selling milk when the local corner shop closed.


We’re on Elsinore Road and would love the lower-end strip to get spruced up with independents!
41. and Aga’s are by far the best places for food and coffee in the area (not a fan of St Davids personally).

As a very local Creative Director and Agency owner, would love to extend my support by seeing if you’ve considered your branding for the new coffee shop - with Small World a great example of how not to do it!

Look forward to following your progress. Good Luck!


Makes the take away cups recycled material and zero plastic lids and straws please.


Out of interest, what is it you don’t like about St Davids? It’s as useful to know what people don’t like about a place. I haven’t considered branding yet but feel free to message me the services you offer. The shop front is really important to me as is branding the takeaway cups and bags etc (considering any restrictions when using recyclable materials). Thanks.