We are thrilled to share that the award-winning, independently owned Society Café will be opening their next community coffee shop at our landmark mixed-use Alliance House scheme, located in the heart of Bristol on the popular Baldwin Street.
A family run business, that started in Bath ten years ago this March, Society Café has grown into a local chain of four shops: two in Bath, one in Oxford and an existing Bristol Harbourside location, that will be retained following the opening at Alliance House. Society Café specialises in coffees from small local and regional roasters such as Round Hill in Bath and Origin in Cornwall, as well as loose leaf speciality teas, artisan hot chocolate, and cakes and pastries from local bakeries.
Owners Jane and Adrian Campbell-Howard had a strong sense of how they wanted their business to be designed with everyone in mind. Having worked in the hospitality sector around the world their wealth of experience proved invaluable: Jane started out working for world famous chef, Marco Pierre White, then went on to be the chef for Formula 1 teams, Ferrari and McLaren, while Adrian ran a top restaurant in Hong Kong. Together they established The Dial House Hotel And Restaurant in Bourton on the Water, winning a Which? Hotel of the Year award prior to its sale in 2008, following which they ran the incredible El Fenn Hotel, Marrakech.
With a very clear vision of a community space, that fed your palate as well as your mind, was inclusive, and supported and nurtured other local businesses and organisations, Society Café has remained true to these principles which have helped the business grow and ensured that each café has been well received by local residents and customers.
Jane Campbell-Howard, of Society Café said, “Our passion has always been looking after people and Society Café was born and has grown from that. Following the first sites in Bath we opened Bristol Harbourside in 2017, so nearly 5 years ago, and it has proven very successful and been really well received, which we greatly appreciate. We knew that we wanted to expand in Bristol, but finding a site had proved challenging, as we wanted to ensure that it was right in every way, not just about footfall, but also environment and community.
“Alliance House was then recommended to us and after an initial viewing and meeting with Acorn we knew that it was right for us: the building is beautiful and has been renovated and restored, rather than newly built so is more environmentally friendly. The project had also been undertaken by a local developer, Acorn, which fitted really well with our ethos and the space was ground floor, ideal for a café.
“We are hoping that the Society Café at Alliance House will become the community centre and hub for residents living in the new homes at Alliance House, as well as a destination for the wider community in and around Broad Quay.”
Robin Squire, Regional Managing Director for our Bristol office commented, “Alliance House, which is over 90% sold, is bringing life back to the city centre, through creating new homes and commercial space. The re-development of an existing building embodies Acorn Green’s principles: our commitment to the implementation of the best possible design and technologies to further drive down the carbon footprint of our homes. It also speaks to our commitment to creating local communities.”
Dane Cummings, Head of Commercial Property at Acorn commented, “Alliance House has been a great regeneration scheme in Bristol. For Acorn it is all about partnerships: having delivered numerous commercial properties over the years it is an exciting and key part of a project when a new partner, like Society Café, comes on board.
“For Alliance House the arrival of the newest branch of Society Café will enable residents and businesses to build a community and ‘live local’. The UK has very much embraced café culture and living local, something that Society Café very much embodies, and we are seeing increased demand for local and community orientated commercial space.”
The 1,300 sq. ft former Santander branch, similar in size to the Harbourside Society Café, has been designed in conjunction with Bristol architects Shape Studio who worked on both the Oxford and Harbourside sites, and will include exciting lifestyle design elements, such as local photography and bikes on walls. Shape Studio is run by two brothers from Bristol, who were Society Café’s very first customers at their first Bath site. These two businesses have grown together, keeping it local, reducing travel and engaging with surrounding community.
Society Café will join Bella Italia at Alliance House and with work having already started on transforming the space Society Café is expected to open around April/May time.
90% of homes have now sold at Alliance House – Final apartments to be released soon. For more information on the scheme, please call the team today on 0117 244 0400.