Coffee bar full of beans after being nominated for national award

PUBLISHED: 06:30 19 August 2014

Alex Sergeant barista at Strangers cafe, Pottergate. Photo: Steve Adams

Alex Sergeant barista at Strangers cafe, Pottergate. Photo: Steve Adams

Tucked away on Pottergate is one of Norwich’s best kept secrets, but it might not stay that way for long.

Strangers Coffee Bar, run by Alex Sargeant, has been shortlisted for a national award, naming it one of the best independent coffee shops in the country.

Founded five years ago by Alex and business partner Sam Maddocks, the pair were thrilled just to be recognised.

“I would be very proud to win, I think we would all be,” said Alex.

“Although we’ve won awards before on coffee making, we’ve never won as a whole product, which is something I was keen to try to achieve.”

Of the nine coffee shops shortlisted for Cafe Life’s Independent Café or Coffee Bar of the Year, Strangers is the only one from the East of England.

Alex, 31, from City Road in Norwich, said: “To be up there with the London coffee shops is a real compliment, the nominees are some of the top cafes in London, they’re the kind of people we want to be up there with.”

After five years in the Norwich lanes, business is booming and Alex believes its down to the bar’s quality products, value for money and service.

“We’ve got to be different, we could be just another coffee shop selling dark roasted coffee but we wanted to do something a bit different.

“We put a lot of effort in, out of love for what we do. We’re passionate about the product and what we’re offering and that shows in everything we do.”

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on September 24 and co-owner Sam said winning the award would be a real coup for the shop.

“It’s very exciting because its more of an industry award, so to be recognised within our industry would be amazing.

“It’s quite nice to have not just customers, but judge’s feedback as well.

“It’s a really nice little community we’ve got here, people we work with are more than just customers to us, they’re friends.”

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