A strange process began with a dream to build London's best coffee shop.
Over the past couple of years, that dream has taken form, growing more and more real as each month passed.
Now, on the cusp of taking possession of a space in London Victoria, the dream is truly becoming reality.
Who we are
When I say "we", what I really mean is "I".
It seems pretty awkward to write "I" when speaking for a business, even though, for now, there's just me...
Anyway, I'm Ian - a "coffee professional". I started working in coffee a couple of years ago, trading my career in Technology for my growing love of coffee.
Over the past couple of years, I've developed a passion for quality and customer service, two characteristics I feel are surprisingly elusive.
It's this passion - serving people something delicious in a friendly, engaging, and informative manner that I hope to bring to Formative.
You can see some of those thoughts (poorly) explained in my UKBC entry this year.
It’s our belief that we can use coffee to provide formative experiences for three key groups:
We believe that high-end coffee shops can, and should provide better treatment and opportunities for their staff. Pay, leave, education, support, health and wellbeing are just some of the issues that we hope to lead on in the coming years.
Coffee can be enormously powerful, and not just as a stimulant. Whether we're providing our guests an exceptional sensory experience, or just somewhere friendly to escape the office, we want to positively challenge their perception of coffee and coffee shops.
The industry at large
In time, we hope Formative will become a leader in the industry, shaping and developing standard industry practices to push for increased social responsibility, better business management, and, of course, better coffee!
Isn't it time for more transparency in the coffee industry?
It can be difficult to read past the marketing spiel of some of our favorite coffee companies to discover what's really going on.
We believe Formative will be different. From internal policies to P&L, and from our company values to operational checklists, we want to demystify our operations. We hope that we can inspire and inform other coffee businesses, as well as our customers, creating a new pattern of conversation across the coffee industry.
Why settle for "good"? We're building a coffee company with quality, innovation, and passion at its heart.
This is a value which will reverberate throughout our decision-making processes and will be reflected in every aspect of our company, from our hiring and staff development to our choice of suppliers.
Here at Formative, we want to see more care in coffee.
By valuing our team members as creative, talented, and capable individuals, we believe that they can be empowered to give so much more back to the business.
Care will be part of our DNA and will inform everything we do. It's also something that we expect from our team - that they care for one another, and for their guests.
We’ll care for our people, and everything else will follow.