Breaking news from London, where Sprudge Media Network is first to report on a vast new undertaking from Caravan Coffee Roasters: a brand new headquarters, including a coffee roastery and much more, slated to open September 2016.
The new facility will house offices, labs, a significantly expanded roastworks, space to hold large trainings and events, climate-controlled green storage, and perhaps most exciting, the first-ever Caravan Coffee Roasting standalone coffee bar, with a keen focus on daily rotating coffee service offering both espresso and filter. That's a big deal for a brand whose identity is so closely tied to food: while served in excellent dedicated London coffee bars like Brooklyn Coffee or Press Coffee‘s locations at Fleet Street and Chancery Lane, current Caravan locations (at King's Cross and Exmouth Market) are restaurants first and foremost, with reservations teams, kitchen staffs, and cocktails. The coffee bar at Caravan's new hub will be the first where coffee is the major focus.
No physical address has yet been released, but will surely as the opening draws closer, but the new space is just 15 minutes from Caravan's Kings Cross restaurant, “one tube stop up the Picadilly line”, according to Director of Operations Mike Logue. Housed in an 8,500 square foot former glassworks, the new Caravan features a roastworks boasting three different operational roasters: Carvan's original 12 kilo Probat, previously housed beneath their Exmouth restaurant; a 25 kilo Probat, once found anchoring the public-facing roast lobby at King's Cross; and a newly acquired 70 kilo Loring, which Logue prizes for its consistency and environmental impact.
Indeed, environmental impact is a going concern across the board at this new Caravan hub, which will feature a rooftop garden, solar panels, vertical plantings, a fully functioning (and surely quite wriggly) wormery to make use of all those delicious coffee grounds, a grey water program, and more. Even the gear is getting in on the act, as the aforementioned 70 kilo Loring will be fitted with a heat exchanger and used to heat the building.
Its neighborhood is described by Logue as “mixed industrial”, a combination of former and current factory warehouses, many of which have been converted into residential lofts. “It's not a go-to area, really,” Logue tells me, “but we wanted to choose somewhere in North London, and not follow the trend of going to Shoreditch.” This ain't East London, but there will be juice, kombucha, and house made sodas available to cafe goers, all part of the in-house beverage tinkering at Caravan you see on their restaurant menus.
“Having outgrown our current roasting operations, we have been on the hunt for a dedicated stand-alone roastery space in the capital for some time now,” says co-founder Laura Harper-Hinton. We heard a similar cry for more breathing room from the folks at Counter Culture Coffee in North Carolina, who themselves just moved into a spacious new headquarters in downtown Durham. “Outgrown” being the key word here, I asked Mike Logue if he had an anecdote that summed up the need for more space at Caravan, and he told us: “We don't have space for anyone to sit! Everyone works from laptops in random places, either in the restaurant, or sometimes out the back on an upturned bin—we’ve got zero space to sit down and answer emails.”
Come September those bins will stay right side up at the new HQ, at least for now.
Jordan Michelman is a co-founder and editor at Sprudge.com. Read more Jordan Michelman on Sprudge.
Photos courtesy Caravan Coffee Roasters.