Norwich coffee shop launching UK-wide including flagship in new city hotel
PUBLISHED: 13:16 21 February 2019 | UPDATED: 08:38 22 February 2019
The founder of Alchemista in the Norwich Lanes is set to roll out the chain nationally including a "coffee lab" in a new 50-bedroom boutique hotel he is launching in the city.
Dennis Bacon, who also owns 38 St Giles Street bed and breakfast, was granted permission in March 2018 for a hotel and spa in the old bus station ticket office in Surrey Street.
Mr Bacon will open a flagship Alchemista branch on the ground floor and it will sell an enhanced food offering alongside its popular coffees and coffee cocktails.
The Alchemista franchise will be launched on March 4 at Union Coffee in London by the board of directors as part of plans to “disrupt” the coffee market across the UK.
Anna Ramsay, marketing director for the hotel and Alchemista expansion, said: “Alchemista has been so well received in Norwich, we are excited to launch the brand as a UK franchise and see the second site open in the city.”
Alchemista opened in St Gregorys Alley in September 2017 and was rated the best coffee shop in Norwich on TripAdvisor just eight months after opening.
Despite it being a tough time on the high street, with Patisserie Valerie recently going into administration, Mr Bacon thinks the brand can succeed nationally due to its unique offering and good service.
He said: “I think we are rated so highly because we really do care about what we do - we are totally passionate about our coffee, coffee cocktails, food and our service.
“We believe if you get the product and service spot on the financial success will follow.
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“It’s difficult for any independent retailer right now because people are more discerning than ever and probably more cautious with their hard earned cash than previously.
“We stand out because we have a strong brand - Asian-inspired, steampunk-themed serving the most amazing coffee and snacks.”
Mr Bacon and his team are also in advanced talks with a “four-star brand well-known across the UK” to operate the hotel which is “perfect for Norwich.”
There will also be a restaurant alongside Alchemista on the ground floor and a 50-bed hotel on the second and third.