Welcome to BEARS SHARES: in this monthly blogpost we love to share some insight into the superhuman(s) behind local businesses in our hood. Finding out about their work, passion, lightbulb moments, likes and tips for a happy life. Now, more than ever, we love it when we can inspire you to shop local and support local. Dive in and enjoy the read. Email us here if you have a suggestion on which local business you like to see featured here next month.
Bears Ice Cream Company wholeheartedly chooses Scotties Coffee as their main coffee supplier at the Bears Ice Cream shop on Brook Green. Scotties is great because it's freshly roasted and ethically sourced. We love their brand ethos, it's local, it's a great coffee and last but not least we are in awe of the amazing, fearless and energetic boss lady behind Scotties.
Lou knows a thing or two about coffee and we are super happy to be sharing some more insight in the awesome human being behind this local coffee brand. You can check out Lou's coffee at Brook Green, whipped up by our Bearcubs, who all passed a Scotties barista training, just saying. During the Summer months Bears at Brook Green serves delicious affogato, made with Bears Ice Cream & Scotties. Punchy and refreshing. Just try it yourself, but first dive into this Q&A, coffee and ice cream in hand if you wish. Enjoy.
If you like to have Scotties at home or in your office you can order different blends via Lou's website here.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you started your own coffee business.
I fell into this industry whilst travelling in NZ. I didn’t even drink coffee back then, but I saw a coffee with a heart design go past me, and had to know how they created it.. a few months later I bought into that cafe and learnt how to make coffee and then bought a coffee roaster, that was 20 years ago!
After moving back to London Scotties was born out of a desperation to get a good coffee in West London. So I set up my first coffee van outside the BBC, and ended up with 4 coffee vans, 2 in-house cafes and the roasting business.
Travel and coffee are my passion and fortunately I have them both with my company. So we now just have the roasting business where every year Im able to travel to different places on a motorbike/scooter and pop in to the local coffee plantations and mills. It's so important to see where my coffee comes from, whilst having fun in the sun on a bike.
How did you become an entrepreneur? When I was 12 and at school I charged 20p per person to go over the wall at lunchtime and grab chips and sweets et cetera (We were banned from leaving the school grounds!) I come from a family of business owners so sitting around doing nothing was never going to happen! My Dad is my biggest Mentor.
What does an average working day look like for you? Roasting takes up most of my time, but my day is always varied. From coffee training, deliveries, prepping and sending online orders, and making sure I have plenty of downtime to develop new blends and single origins for the website.
How’s your work life balance? If you asked my a few years ago I would have said I was pushing myself with all the vans and cafes, as well as the roasting, so I had very little time off. Now I have a great life style, with just concentrating on the roasting business means I'm able to travel more, and keep developing more great beans.
What is the best advice you have been given? Count your pennies and the pounds will come…still working on that one!
What advice would you give others? Never be too scared to try something new. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
What’s the biggest misconception in your industry? That people think its easy to make great coffee.
What’s your most loved London restaurant? Shiekeys fish restaurant in Central London.
What’s your favourite weekend activity? Eating and drinking with friends.
Your film recommendation? The talented Mr Ripley (even went to Italy to see all the places it was filmed at!).
Your book recommendation? A fine balance by Rohinton Mistry.
What superpower would you like to have? Invisible, then I can hear the customers talk about my coffee, good or bad, it would be great to hear.
What’s your favorite Bears ice cream and why? The Christmas Mince Pie one was so good.
Who would you like to invite at your dining table and share a Bears ice cream tub with for dessert?
Nelson Mandela, Graham Norton, Cameron Diaz and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
Tell us a little secret about yourself ... At the age of 23 I was deported from America and handcuffed onto a plane! This was after I went there to train to be a stunt woman!