By Sarah Lax, Proposition Manager – Store Concept and Innovation

We’ve launched a new coffee shop partnership that’ll run as a trial in 10 of our food stores. It’s a really exciting project to give our customers new reasons to visit us and to help us better understand the role coffee can play in convenience.

Our partner Churchill Catering, as experienced restaurant operators, will run the coffee shops and, together, we’ll learn how a coffee offering works for our customers across different formats.

Most of the stores in our trial already have a coffee shop, so we’re trying out a different, improved offer. Some will just get a simple refresh so that we can get up and running, and learn quickly about what works best; others, including Ridgeway (pictured) are getting a complete refit and rebrand under the new name ‘& Coffee’. We’re also launching a brand new ‘& Coffee’ in our Holmfirth store to find out how adding a coffee shop can grow our customer offer.

Our Ridgeway store in Plymouth, was the first to get the full rebrand and refit to ‘& Coffee’ and customers are loving it so far. They’ve been delighted with the improved offer, locally-sourced products and tailored menus throughout the day. The free wifi and charging points are also popular – as a hub for the local community, it’s great that customers can hang out there, check their emails and recharge their batteries in more ways than one!

It’s great to work with the Churchill team. Together we’re creating a new customer offer that’s about more than just a great cup of coffee. We’re excited to see how the trials go!

Join the conversation! 20 Comments


  2. This would work amazingly at Blackpool highfield road as there used to be a booths on this site with a cafe. This was taken away when our shop came in and meant many people in the area lost that social side of life. The area has lots of older residents in the immediate area and the area also has a new housing site for professionals. To me it would be ideal in helping to tackle social isolation and loneliness. As a member pioneer I’ve been working with the store manager to help those affected now the cafe has gone.

  3. Great idea, obviously will be expecting us to offer recycling bins for the paper cups but also since the airing of the Watchdog programme this week will we also be offering recycling bins for the clear plastic cups used for iced drinks etc. Costa, Nero, and Starbucks clearly are not…..

    • @Sharon the coffee shop will adhere to all our packaging and recycling policies during the trial. Once we know if the trial is successful we can look at elements in more detail for improvement for example, Fairtrade coffee or using a local roaster or more operational elements like not plastic at all. We’ll look at these things as we understand the model, what’s possible and what customers want and need. We ran some research before we launched and we’ll do some more post to see if we got it right.

  4. This is a great idea and is definitely something that should have been looked at sooner.
    Coffee shops are a great space for locals communities to socialise and enjoy there day out of the house. Provided that the prices are affordable, great tasting and the menu accompanies this, we could be even give “Costa” a run for there money, who’s sudden surge of coffee shops popping up in local towns has increased drastically over the years.

    • Completely agree with Ryan, having somewhere to socialise in store for shoppers and community is another great way to focus people on what we do! I’m a Member Pioneer coordinator in south London, it would be great to offer a place for out Member Pioneers to meet that isn’t Costa or one of the other chains.

  5. Hi, can we see a list of what stores are getti g these and how do you go about putting your store forward for the trial.

    • @Mike those stores getting a full ‘& Coffee’ rebrand and offer include: Ridgeway (already launched), Heathfield and Holmfirth (launching next month), and Ryde (early 2020 hopefully)
      Those with the offer and the coffee but no brand include: Inverness, Wickford, Peacehaven, Louth, Brighton & Hove, Wadebridge
      If the trial is successful the team’s more than happy to get suggestions for stores – you can drop Sarah an email – let her know why you think a coffee shop would work in your store, and what the local coffee shop competition is like!

  6. What a great idea! When might SE London see & Coffee in stores?

    • There will be an ‘& Coffee’ launching in Heathfield next month. Other stores in the SE that have the new offer but not the ‘& Coffee’ brand are Peacehaven, and Brighton and Hove.

  7. Can somebody confirm when the new coffee shop in Holmfirth is due to go live? Would be great to get out to see this!

  8. A café can be a great community hub and I’m excited by this project as will dove-tail well with our values. Let’s use these spaces to host and promote our community focused activities. Please give some flexibility to store colleagues to adapt and adopt.

    I’d like to see more unique design in the F&F to create a visual link to community & co-operation. In my experience environment ranks equal importance to the quality of the product on offer.

    • Hi Simon, the coffee shops are run by our partner, Churchill Catering but are available for groups to book, and to use the spaces outside of coffee shop hours.

  9. So, we are using coffee pods. This has a massive impact on the environment, we need to think about the plastic.

    • @Steve the coffee pods are only a temporary solution but Lavazza are at the forefront of sustainability with their capsules as a key focus. The outer case is made of fully recyclable polypropylene. All of Lavazza’s domestic capsules have recently converted to be completely compostable and they’re working on the same process for the version used in coffee shops, aiming to be ready in 2020.

  10. I think this has huge potential as we know Co Op Food Stores are already “community” shops and have much less of a big chain feel that other food stores have, however, most places you see a Co Op you will also see a Starbucks, Costa, Café Nero etc so I think a key thing to bare in mind is that the coffee on offer must be truly remarkable. There are dozens of places on any high street in the UK to purchase average Coffee and considering we are currently in the middle of a massive “Coffee revival” with people wanting to discover new and wonderful coffee, sustainably and ethically sourced etc I think it would be a real shame if we set up these Coffee shops and didn’t deliver.

    I drink a LOT of coffee and I, like many others, am willing to travel and pay the extra for a good cup of coffee – long gone are the days of drinking freeze dried coffee just to keep you awake in the morning, people now want more satisfaction out of their morning coffee or indeed from the coffee they drink throughout the day.

  11. Is the coffee and tea on sale Fair Trade?

    • We know that our customers would expect Fairtrade tea and coffee from us so it’s something we’re really focussed on. For the coffee shop trials, all our tea and hot chocolate powder (and some other products) is Fairtrade, and our coffee is from Lavazza, who won ethical coffee company of the year last year. The coffee isn’t Fairtrade at the moment because the specialist barista equipment is very expensive. We’re using coffee pods for the trial sites, as a quick, economical way to get a good, consistent cup of coffee, just while we’re trying to find out if a coffee shop can work for Co-op as a partnership. However, we’re running a Fairtrade work stream so that, if the trial is successful, we can use Fairtrade coffee in any new coffee shops in the future.

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