Posts Tagged ‘Love Brownies’

Love Brownies Guildford revisited

November 22, 2019

Last week I passed Love Brownies Guildford in Tunsgate, splashed across the window, Now Open, only they were not open.

An example of Guildford surrealism, Alice down the rabbit hole.

Tuesday Love Brownies Guildford were rumoured to be open.

Were they? Er yes and no.

A handful of people there in the afternoon, but not open. Open at five, but only to the media.

If tried to attend the media event, ordered out by ignorant Yorkshire man. How to alienate the locals, a classic example of how not to a launch event.

The success of their exclusive media event not a mention in the media.

Friday try again.

Yes, were open, only one customer, three staff.

Find a clean table. One table dirty, another piled with dirty dishes.

I settled for a stool by a shelf in an alcove. Furthest away from the door. The tables were conveniently arranged by the door, a blast of cold air every time the door opened. The tables were jammed far too close together, difficult for staff and customers to pass once it started to fill up.

I asked of the brownies. No one knew what was the difference, chocolate, double chocolate or triple chocolate. But a moot point, as only had double chocolate.

Cappuccino ordered. What size? There is only one size, the correct size.

A very long wait before order delivered, and this is an empty cafe, though it was slowly filling.

I moved away from the dirty table where I had first sat, and sat by a shelf. Banged my hand on the overhang. I banged my head again when I stood up.

Eventually a cappuccino arrived, all froth and foam with chocolate dumped on top. A brownie the size of a postage stamp.

I take the cappuccino back, say no chocolate, query the size of the brownie. It was a fraction of those on show.

I was told these were vegan, and yet I had pointed to one when ordered.

Tiny samples of a vegan brownies were on display, smaller than a sugar cube. These were ok. Unusual as vegan cakes are usually dire.

I could not say the same of what was brought to my little alcove. Very cloying. Nowhere the quality I have had at Coffee Lab when they were supplied by an independent bakery.

I questioned the cappuccino. All froth and foam, too hot, all the mistakes one could make.

It looked disgusting and was not good.

No surprise, cheap catering supply coffee from Caffe Society, clueless on coffee those making the the coffee. Not to be confused with Society Café a coffee shop serving excellent coffee.

When I queried the coffee, the usual defence for all ills, we have been trained.

An SCA qualified trainer? I doubt.

Ambience pleasant, bright and airy.

Two guys serving were pleasant.

For how long will they be giving away free brownies for birthday? Or will these free brownies be the sugar cube size samples?

Once again makes the point, cannot train baristas. Not that I would call them baristas, as to do so would be to insult baristas.

I asked of the cost of the espresso machine. Refused to say. I guessed less than £5,000. I hit the ballpark.

A good machine will be in excess of £10,000.

The size of a postage stamp brownie, anywhere else would be a sample, was in a little cardboard box.

At a time when we are trying to cut waste, reduce packaging, Love Brownies Guildford serving postage size brownies in a little cardboard box. And we thought we had a problem with supermarkets.

The brownies are shipped from Yorkshire.

Today I talked to someone who bakes quality cakes, including brownies. They said not economical to ship from Yorkshire, not unless using low quality cheap ingredients.

Though on the other hand if serving postage stamp size portions at at least pushes up the margins.

Award winning brownies?

The award, Great Taste award, a meaningless award that gets slapped on anything and everything, for which pay to obtain. No guarantee of quality.

To charge £5-50 for cheap low quality undrinkable catering supply coffee and a mediocre postage stamp size brownie is blatant rip off.

On display a glossy Surrey magazine. Not worth reading. Not sure if display or for sale.

Nothing of quality for example Cereal, Ambrosia, Drift, as find in quality coffee shops.

In a addition to mediocre brownies and poor quality coffee, what could only be described as overpriced gifts, make the whole operation look like a poundland or poor man’s version of Caracoli.

This type of tourist tat may sell to gullible American tourists in a tea shop in Ilkley,  I cannot see it selling to locals in Guildford.

If wish to buy honey, local produce, try the farmers market in the High Street or the excellent cheese shop Partisan  in Chapel Street.

Only half a dozen tables, which is not viable.

In Athens ice cold water brought to the table. It is called service.

In Love Brownies Guildford had to ask.

What beggars belief is fools and their money easily parted have paid £50,000 for a franchise, for what is in essence a cafe serving poor quality coffee with a very limited choice of cakes.

I am reminded of the Monty Python sketch, spam, spam or spam.

In Love Brownies Guildford, a choice of brownies or brownies or brownies.

They could have simply opened a cafe serving mediocre coffee and sourced cakes locally for a fraction of the price.

Or save on the franchise, invested in decent equipment, hired a skilled head barista, sourced quality coffee, and still had change to spare.

These days on a hiding to nothing opening a coffee shop serving poor quality coffee, as have the tax dodging corporate chains serving bad coffee. And in a town saturated with coffee shops, does nothing to add to the coffee scene.

In Guildford, if love coffee, there is Krema, ironically only a few doors away from Love Brownies Guildford. Quality coffee, a choice of cakes not restricted to brownies, and the brownies if you want brownies are at least a decent size, not a postage stamp size.

After my visit, the coffee left untouched apart from a sip, a decent coffee in Krema.

Love Brownies Guildford located in Tunsgate opposite Tunsgate Quarter zombie shopping centre.

Love Brownies Guildford

November 19, 2019

Friday last week across the window of Love Brownies Guildford in big letters Now Open. Only they were not open.

Welcome to Guildford surrealism.

Rumour was open Tuesday.

Late into Guildford, nevertheless stopped and had an excellent cappuccino off FCB kiosk followed by excellent late lunch at Bamboo Shoots in Jeffries Passage.

Passed by Love Brownies Guildford late afternoon, my only reason for visiting Guildford. They appeared to be open, maybe.

No, not open, open for media at five.

Now a little odd, open only for invited guests, not a good way to get your coffee shop known.

At the very least would have thought would have offered a coffee, but no.

Five actually quite late considering the weather, most people want to be home.

I suggested if wished media coverage put out a well written press release to Surrey Advertiser and lazy scribblers will regurgitate.

Yorkshire man: I will talk to our marketing department.

Marketing department. WTF, it’s a coffee shop. He also fed me bullshit about branding.

Once people start talking about marketing and branding, they have completely lost the plot.

Nothing about the coffee, single origin, where sourced from.

Clueless too on use of social media, no mention new coffee shop opening in Guildford.

Cappuccino in Krema, gone five, maybe just time to pop in Love Brownies Guildford before the shops close.

I walked in, lady by the door, she says says yes, please come in, your are very welcome. Explains to me she did their design, and that the businesses started selling gifts on-line and expanded from there.

Good design is all well and good, but at the end of the day, it is all about the coffee.

I ask of the coffee, I am pointed to the coffee counter and told ask there.

I ask of their coffee.

Caffe Society who I have never heard of. I check later, a supplier of cheap catering supply coffee, thus no interest in quality coffee.

These days no excuse whatsoever to source poor quality coffee. In Yorkshire I am aware of Dark Woods, North Star, The Blending Room, to name but three.

Local to Guildford, in Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, London, there are many excellent coffee roasteries, far too many to name.

I learn Love Brownies a chain of nine coffee shops based in Yorkshire, by the end of the year 19, or maybe that was the target for a year.

The franchise scam. Minimum investment of £50,000, £25,000 up front. Fools and their money easily parted.

The woman I was talking to knew nothing of Brew & Brownie Bake Shop in York. Very odd when a very popular coffee shop in York with emphasis on brownies, especially when Love Brownies based in Yorkshire and ship their brownies down to Guildford every day from Yorkshire.

The set up is like a watered down version of Caracoli, coffee shop cum deli with overpriced gifts, nether one nor the other. One reason Carocoli went bust.

The woman I talked had no idea of Caracoli.

Surely you do your homework?

I ordered a cappuccino. Asked what size, Er, wrong question, the correct size. I wandered around to find it was waiting for me.

It then turned very unpleasant. The woman who I had been talking to said I could not have it just as the young guy who had made it handed it to me. All very embarrassing for the young guy who was trying to hand it to me.

I felt sorry for the guy. Allegedly trained and once again made the point cannot train baristas. It was all froth and foam, half an inch above the cup carpet bombed with chocolate. The only time I have seen a cappuccino this bad was at a dreadful coffee shop in Lincoln, The Old Mouse House Cheese Shop & Coffee Bar at the top of Steep hill.

No, no, no, this is not how you make and serve a cappuccino.

If this young guy wishes to learn how to brew coffee, then please go and work in a decent coffee shop.

I never did get to try the coffee, but from appearance, it was undrinkable, as at that point Yorkshire man ordered me out, reiterating it was a private function and my presence was not welcome.

Welcome to Yorkshire hospitality. How to win friends and influence people.

Yorkshire man not doing the fools and their money easily parted for the franchise any favours by almost frogmarching out a potential customer.

Any new coffee shop would welcome people to their launch event, as word of mouth these days essential.

Contrast with the launch of Blue Bear Bookshop in Farnham on Saturday. Everyone very welcoming, did their best to answer questions. But then they were not a franchise scam, it was a lady passionate about books, who always wanted to own a bookshop, and serving excellent coffee and local cakes.

I never did get to try the coffee, but from what I saw I would hazard a guess undrinkable coffee. And the rows of syrups indicated undrinkable coffee.

In which case what is the point? If want disgusting undrinkable coffee we have the tax-dodging corporate coffee chains.

Today if opening a coffee shop, have to be passionate about coffee, know about coffee, and serve quality coffee.

And for those who appreciate quality coffee, we already have in Tunsgate, Krema. And I cannot see any of their clientele drinking bad coffee.

Love Brownies Guildford located in Tunsgate opposite the Tunsgate Quarter zombie shopping centre.