Thursday, 11 September 2014

Job Satisfaction...

I remember having a drink with an old boss after we had closed, we were talking about one of lifes greatest issues, Job Satisfaction.

I was 16 at the time, fresh out of school and starting my 'career' in the hospitality industry. The general theme of the conversation was the same that I had had weeks earlier with my Head of Sixth Form,

"I don't want to do something that I'm not happy doing, whether it's for 2 years or for 1 day, life is short, what's the point"

It's a cliche, I know, but it is also something I have generally tried to always live my life by, my boss said I was being naive, it was an typical adolescent outlook on life, and that sooner or later I would come to realise at some point you just have to knuckle down and get on with life and I will get a proper job, and I will hate it, but it's just what you have to do.

Now, whether it's that I was a rebellious teenager, or whether it's something of my own temperament, I vowed to prove them wrong, I truly believed that I would be the exception to this rule, I promised myself I'd never settle and end up doing something, just for the money.

5 years later I am looking back over that conversation, having achieved what I left school to do, and I realise that I didn't keep that promise, in the last few years I have worked for people just because I needed to pay the rent, I have worked for corporate chains that 16 year old me would disapprove of, however I have no regrets. I write this post, not to talk about the importance of doing what it is that you really want to do, but to show that by stepping back, looking at your job differently you might realise that the 9-5 rat race job you are working in might be exactly where you should be at that time, even if you hate your boss, hate the morning commute and are fed up of staring at a computer screen all day.

And so I leave you my CV, perhaps not the same CV I'd give to an employer, but the CV I'd rather be judged for, it doesn't show my extensive list of 'skills or responsibilities' but it shows what I'm thankful for.

Sleepy Town Tea Room: October 2008 - December 2009:
I made my first coffee, no formal training, just good old fashioned practice makes perfect.
I made my first friends who weren't the ones I had lessons with, I realised you can have friends and more importantly learn about life from people much older.

Same Sleepy Town Restaurant: September 2009 - July 2011:
You have to let go of things that will hold you back, you have to make sacrifices in order to achieve what you need to, you have to prioritise, and sometimes, sadly work has to come first.
I met one of my best friends, who several years later did me the honour of being my best man.
I learnt about food, I tried new flavours, I learnt about things.
I moved out of my family home and learnt about paying bills and budgeting wages (not very well)

Corporate Fundraising Company: July 2011 - October 2011:
I found out about people, I raised money for good causes.
I learnt about perseverance, and the importance of a good attitude.
I learnt about charities, and the good that people are doing in the world.
I learnt about working with a big team of people, and motivating people who are cold and wet at 8PM to carry on walking from door to door.

Interview at Posh Coffee Shop: 30th October 2011:
I learnt that I didn't want to be a snob about coffee! I realised that customer service matters more than being technically great at making a product.

Corporate Department Store Restaurant: November 2011 - March 2012
I learnt about following rules, 'playing the game', I learnt about making tricky management decisions.
Most importantly, I met my wife.

Very Well Known Coffee Shop: March 2012 - July 2014
I could take time off, I could pay my rent, I learnt the skills that meant I could start my own Cafe.

So I find myself here. Sat in my cafe on a sunny morning, Watching people trickle in and out, hearing the hum of chatter and soaking in the smell of coffee, and I realise, I was wrong when I thought I could avoid 'following the system' but I have a lot to be thankful for.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

The Newest Member of our Team...

Those of you who have met me or read my blog so far, may have come to realise I have a slight interest in coffee, coffee culture, coffee machines, coffee coffee coffee...

Those of you didn't know that about me, you do now!

You can imagine then my excitement when a large box arrived at our door this morning, with this hiding inside!

The Sanremo Verona TCS has been a part of our vision for The Glorious Art House since day one, long before we knew what colour the walls would be, before we had a name, before we knew where we would be, we knew we would have this.

The reason for our choice of machine in a world of a thousand options is a simple one;

The Verona represents everything we want The Glorious to be;
Beauty, Joy & Light, in every detail. 

I could go on about how you can set each group to run at an alternative temperature from the other and central boiler, I could talk about the optional cup heater which conserves power, I could talk about it's self cleaning cycles, it's blue lights, it's water boiler powerful enough to fill a teapot saving us counter space and money by not needing a separate urn... But I'm not sure how much of an interesting read it would make to anyone but me!

Instead I'll just point out again, that it's beautiful, the precision to detail reflects what it is I love about Italian design. It fits us well, and we are happy with it. It was fitted by a cracking team of guys from Coffee West, who I will write about sometime, they're a company with exceptional service and based just moments away from my home town. As lucky we were to find the machine we were twice as lucky to be able to buy from them.

In celebration of this Glorious day we are launching our first like & share competition... All you have to do is like the link to this on our facebook page, and share it on your own and you could win;

250g of our beautiful coffee beans (whole or ground),
A 250ml Routin 1883 Syrup, in your preferred flavour,
& A Gloriosa Mug, made exclusively by Anthropologie (& no longer in stock or production)
We think it's a fairly good prize, and we cannot wait to announce the winner on Friday 29th August. 

Please keep reading!

11 days to go....

Monday, 11 August 2014

Caffe Latte / Latte / Cafe Au Lait

In all the excitement of the colourful walls, the twinkling lights, the mirrors, the golden frames the mexican tiles, the wallpapers and chandeliers (rest assured, I will get around at some point to guiding you through them...) It's easy to forget about the products of our beautiful building.

So I thought I should probably start introducing you to a few of them, and the journey we've undergone to find or create them.

We begin with a simple and humble drink thats becoming perhaps one of the most exciting coffees;

Latte (noun) :  a coffee, made with espresso and steamed milk

We had to first decide on a vessel, a beautiful drink deserves a beautiful cup. Whatever people might say, size does matter, we don't do a small medium or large (Tall, Grande, Venti / Primo, Medio, Massimo) Our drinks are all in traditional sizes - our latte comes in our largest cup - "Kebaya" a 390ml / 13oz colourful stoneware mug, inspired by Dutch fabrics. 

Gone are the days of the Layered Lattes, coffee in chunky glasses has always reminded me of those back room of a church glass mugs, and as with Prawn Cocktails in Ice Cream Sundae glasses, I'm glad to see the back of them. 

A latte as I think we all know, is mostly milk, it should be steamed to create a light shine, which when poured into the crema creates a shocking contrast. The white on golden brown has led to something truly creative, something which really lets the barista shine, where flair and skill can be etched out for everyone to see. Amongst other reasons, I think the growth in Latte art is the driving force people now see coffee as the art form it truly is. 

You see some wonderful 'pieces' if you begin to look through the depths of the internet; kittens creeping out of cups, faces or flowers floating against the creamy backdrop, elephants etched, hearts, Harry Potter and so much more.. The Rosetta is possibly Latte Art 101, the leaf that sits on top of flat whites at a certain chain, a delicate and simple pattern which has made it so accessible for all to enter the game.. 

We encourage our Baristas to try something new and get creative, and if you fancy a go, we'll be running a competition before christmas to win a training session with a previous world barista champ, now coffee trainer. 

I could talk about latte art all night and I could attach a whole host of my favourite shots, but I'll leave you with just one, and maybe I'll have inspired some of you to go out and look for more, please share your favourites with us, on facebook, twitter or instagram..


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Hello World!

Ahem, testing, testing.. one, two, three..

Thanks for coming by and reading this, my first post on The Glorious Blog. My name's Derry, and for those of you who I haven't met yet or don't know, I'm one of the Co-Founders of The Glorious Art House.

Leaving the creative side to my Co-Founder and Mum, I am the man behind the products we sell and the coffee we make. It's been such an exciting journey getting us going, finding a whole host of fantastic suppliers for our beautiful Coffee House.

Everyone we have told we are opening a Coffee House we have been asked the same question;

"What makes you different from everyone else?"

A fair enough question in a city where Costa reigns, and a whole host of battleship grey, industrial chic 'speciality' coffee shops try and challenge them for a place as the peoples favourite.

I have consistently answered this question with something along the lines of "you'll see" or "when you walk through the door you will know".

Through posts on this blog I hope to show you, just how different we are, from the smallest details to the biggest... There are several alternative ways you can keep an eye on us though too

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Instagram

I can't wait to see you here for a coffee!