There is no doubting that coffee is one of my simple pleasures, however there is a big difference between having a coffee out of a branded chain coffee mug and a cup that has been lovingly chosen by a small independent coffee shop owner.
Coffee is something that over the last few years I have found a new appreciation for. It is not that I rely on it to get me up and going or to prevent my head hitting the keyboard mid afternoon at work, it is a real treat and rather than a burst of energy and speeding things up, for me it is a time to savour, slow down and enjoy.
This is why I am delighted that my town is filled with so many excellent coffee shops, one especially that when ordering my americano is served with more than just my usual warm frothy milk on the side, it also gives me a lovely sense of community … and maybe sometimes a chocolate brownie.
Ginger & Co opened its beautifully painted doors in July after weeks and weeks of hard work and long nights in preparation. Mr H and I met the owners Sam and Kate about a fortnight before they opened and admired them instantly for what they were going to achieve.
After years of “career” jobs they did what a lot of us talk about and followed their dream and although not as romantic as our rose tinted glasses make it out to be they have made it work and it really is something full of passion and spirit.
They have had to sacrifice the life they knew before, including a home, having spent the summer camped in the garden of Kate’s parents to save money and although not seeing a day off in a long while there is no doubt in their slightly sleepy but happy faces that it has all been worth it, especially because they have done it together.
One of the things which makes this coffee shop so special is that it was achieved with a little help from their friends … and strangers, thanks to a Crowdfunding initiative.
This is evident throughout the cafe with little nods to all the people that supported their dream, with the names of everyone that pledged dotted around the place … there is also one very special table that bares two names, those of both Sam’s nanas who are no longer with them, but are still very much part of their dream, which just adds to the feeling of love and family about the place.
This feeling of family is also evident in the staff that work there. They are always smiling and so friendly which really makes you feel at home and when having spoken to some visitors to the town they commented on how, after one visit, they felt like it was their local. This community continues in their food, using locally sourced bread from Swifts a Shropshire bakery for their homemade sandwiches and their already famous Wenlock bacon baps which when cooking entice people in off the street.
On a sweeter note all their cakes and bakes are home made and soooooooo good, their brownies especially cause much excitement both at home and work when I turn up with a take away bag full of them (some maybe slightly nibbled!).
But going back to the main event, the coffee … it really is something to be enjoyed, from the delicate pour over (which if you dare ask Sam for milk with it you will get “the look”) to a full bodied americano they really do know their stuff and having recently introduced me to their dirty chai they also have the ability to match you to your perfect blend.
There are no frills or chince here, it has been lovingly designed with a rustic relaxed vibe and it is evident that it has been a very personal art project for Kate who’s creative side comes through in every bit of it.
It is somewhere that you can relax and feel that whether alone or not you are with friends … and of course great coffee – Ginger & Co really is a special little gem in Shrewsbury and a very happy place ♥