We spoke to Peri, the Café Manager at Think Coffee Ink, a unique not-for-profit shop in the heart of Camden.
With a coffee shop, tattoo studio and salon all under one roof, Peri talks to us about how this business came to be and why they chose the Sanremo Café Racer to represent their brand. Here, a cup of coffee can go a long way…
It started with about 6 people who wanted to be more involved in the city, we decided opening a business would be the best way to do it. We are all part of a volunteer Christian organisation which works with young people, we’ve got lots of different artistic backgrounds. We definitely wanted to do something with coffee and tattooing and ended up having people join us that were professional hairdressers too. We threw this all together into one space and that’s how the shop was born.
As a charity, we support our local church here in Camden it’s called Hope and Anchor and we partner with them by hosting some of their small group events, the Pastor at the church is actually our tattoo artist. Camden has one of the largest populations of rough sleepers in London, so we’ve also partnered with the Lazarus Project so they can refer people to us for free hot drinks and haircuts. A future goal of ours is to become a second chance workplace where people from hard backgrounds or with criminal records can come and re-train to get back on their feet.
The style of the Café Racer was really important, the machine really fits with our brand, it’s very sleek and has got an edge to it as well. I’ve always loved Sanremo machines because they are user-friendly. Our Café Racer is great when we have people coming in with no coffee experience because it’s very easy to train them on it. Sanremo provides great customer service too.
Yes, we chose to work with Redemption Coffee because we share a lot of the same values and we hope in the future to reach out to some of the people released from their programme so they can come and work in our shop.
Definitely the clientele you get, instead of people just looking for a coffee you get people in search of other things too. They can come for a coffee and stay for a tattoo, or come for a tattoo and keep coming back for the coffee! It definitely helps us to reach a wider variety of people and a wider customer base.
We just try to make everything very personal and have a good chat with the people that come in. In particular, the tattoo artists and hairdressers who get to spend a lot of time with the people really make them feel relaxed and comfortable. We want people to feel like they can come back and they’re welcome any time.
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