Ditching big city life for pastures new is something a lot of people spend time dreaming about but often fail to take that initial leap of faith! It’s all part of the adventure for couple Philip and Emma who made their dreams a reality earlier this year.

Seeing a gap in the market, they left their life in Birmingham behind in search of a new chapter. Fast forward a little and the pair are now the proud owners of a quirky new independent, Pretty & Pip, which also happens to be one of the first cafes in the UK to serve coffee from the brand new Sanremo F18 Espresso Machine.

We caught up with them to find out more about this exciting venture:

First off, tell us your story...

Last year we decided to make some big changes – city living, professional stress, long working hours and tedious commutes made us realise that urban life had lost its appeal. We’d always wanted to live in the countryside or by the sea and were ready for a quieter life, so we sold our house in Birmingham and began the search for a new home and premises for a coffee shop in the Cotswolds.

Coffee and food have always been a big passion, and although neither of us had worked in hospitality before, we had done a year’s worth of real research and got some amazing mentoring from three amazing people in the industry which was invaluable. With our previous sales, hospitality and customer service experience plus event management and promotion knowledge, we were certain this was something we could do really successfully.

Tell us more about the site you chose for this new café!

The beautiful market town of Cirencester was lacking a proper independent coffee shop. We found a suitable site, however it needed complete renovation and to make things harder it was Grade 2 listed – but the potential and a large outside space kept us committed to the major challenge ahead. Renovation took 9 months in itself with a lot of backwards and forwards to Cotswods District Council. We did as much of the work as we could ourselves.

The aesthetic and design is all our own work including the garden. We opened with a small but skilled team on June 10th to fantastic continued feedback. Our aim was to provide the best coffee (as well as teas, cakes, sourdough) in a well-designed space, with attention to detail... mixing old with new to fit the demographic of the town and our potential clientele. We have definitely created something really special as everybody seems to love it, which was our primary goal – you can’t be too niche in a small town if you want to stay busy!

You are an ethical business with locally sourced produce and locally roasted coffee. How important is this to you and what other steps have you taken to boost your green credentials?

Our coffee is roasted at Extract in Bristol, our teas are blended in Cheltenham, and our free-range and organic milk is from Cotteswold Dairy. We now sell as well as use sourdough bread from Sourdough Revolution in Lechlade, who also use local ingredients (all flour from within 50 miles of the bakery).

As an independent, it makes total sense and gives us a more credible offering if we are also using the best local independent suppliers. Shopping independent and local is really important to us and if we all try to adopt this approach where possible then we’ll help maintain more of our High Streets too.

We try to be as green as we can be in a fast-paced catering environment, resisting plastic single use products and recycling and reusing wherever possible. Most of all we can now walk to work, which is amazing for us and does our little bit for emissions reduction.

Why did you choose the Sanremo F18 for your café?

After extensive research we were already pretty much decided on Sanremo. When we heard about a brand-new model being released that was showcasing at the London Coffee Festival and that we’d be one of the first to have it, it was a no brainer! Design, function, simplicity – it has it all.

What's your favourite thing or feature about the F18? 

We have created a stunning design led environment which the F18 complements perfectly – plus we also love that it is reliable and makes the perfect cup of coffee. Our baristas love the new touch screen technology, its cool touch steam wands and energy saving technology is extremely beneficial too!

What three words would you use to describe Pretty and Pip for the customers who are yet to visit?

BEST COFFEE INDEPENDENT! We’ve had so many lovely comments from our customers it’s impossible to choose just three words, but we hope anybody new visiting will see the love we’ve put into this place and the love we put in to every coffee, sourdough sandwich and our welcoming customer service.

Why did you choose Extract coffee for your café?

We contacted 9 roasters and Extract always had the right answers, understood we were new to the game and that Cirencester is not Bristol, Birmingham or Manchester! They gave really good advice on a lot of aspects of the business but most of all we love their coffee and it cuts through milk perfectly.

They are local, give 24-hour machine support and are big on training and education. We feel we made the right choice every time we drink our coffee.

If you're interested in having the new Sanremo F18 on your cafe counter contact us today!