Q: How did you get into hospitality
SB: "We enjoyed 35 years of success in the fashion industry, retailing, brand building, and consistently staying one step ahead of the curve and our competitors. However, our curiosity has always been to apply this expertise to a different sector. In 2010 we expanded the clothing store, which presented a small space for an espresso bar at the back end of Barker clothing in store Castle Arcade Cardiff. So Coffee Barker was born, with just 12 seats, an old trusty coffee machine and a lot of passion. Coffee Barker was packed and buzzing from day one. Coffee Barker rapidly expanded, and over the following 3 years, it consumed the clothing store. Unknowingly, we had completed the leap from fashion retailers to hospitality. It just happened."
Q: Why do you love what you do
SB: "Our ethos has always been to develop a social & culinary collection of brands that create high-quality destinations for meaningful social interaction. We are on a mission to consistently be trusted by our guests to convey integrity and soul in everything they do. For example, Gin & Juice has a curated selection of over 400 Gins that are expertly served by our mixologists, who also design the finest cocktails from around the globe. Coffee Barker has its own fair trade coffee roasted exclusively to perfection and prepared by our inspired team of Baristas. Rum & Fizz has over 300 Rums and is one of the best cocktail bars in Cardiff, the pride and knowledge of the bar crew is amazing. That is why we love what we do. It's satisfying a passion for being the best."
Q: What sets Gin& Juice, Coffee Barker and Rum & Fizz apart from other bars, restaurants and espresso bars
SB: "We set out to create not only restaurants, bars and coffee shops but also public gathering spaces that help cultivate our neighbourhoods by nurturing creativity, dialogue, and memorable moments that our guest share with their friend, loved ones and work colleagues in secure and uplifting social environments. We always aspire to be best in class, from excellent breakfast, brunch, and lunch to organic coffee, through to late in the night when the cocktails are king. It's about making an atmosphere where people can shine. To that end, we create our own gins. We offer fantastic service from an extraordinary team of people who present our unique products seven days a week, rain or shine. In short, we create establishments that matter to our customers and our people on a human level; these are what memories are made of. We are proud to be part of that."
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