Monday, 29 September 2008

G-r-r-rate Relief

Good news! The revenue team at Mid-Beds District Council, have granted us 100% relief on our business rates for our High Street business. That'll save us £100+ per month. That's a great relief.
Thank you.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Have I found the best Coffee in Biggleswade?

A couple of weeks ago we found the best Fair Trade bean available and started selling it at Cafe Mocha. (Thanks to Steve Luff for his excellent product range, knowledge and advice)

The new coffee is stronger, less bland, a little more bitter, and creates an excellent creme on the top of a black Americano.

To top it off, for my best ever Coffee in Biggleswade, the marvellous Barrista that is 'Hitch' offered me the new coffee with a shot of a new Ginger Bread Syrup, and then ZoWwEe CaVeY, I'm hooked on Ginger Bread Latté's at Cafe Mocha.
Sounds a bit la-dee-dah, but they are superb! (Even though I say so myself).

(Also available in Butter-Scotch, but Ginger Bread is my favourite).

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Money Matters

Not sure how much money really should matter, but unfortunately it does really, or Cafe Mocha couldn't exist. Last night was the monthly pay-roll night (we've been officially in business for 2 full months now) , and it's a good time to check the bank balance and find out what's what.

We're not rolling in debt, and in fact we've scraped through in credit, just.

That said, we've relied on incredible genorisity of quite a few people, including some of our paid Mocha staff, anonymous donations, and people buying pre-paid coffee.

Thank you to some of the very encourgaging messages, and some of the very good suggestions for improvements sent to

Somebody asked about our tipping in Cafe Mocha. The tips that are left from customers in the little bowl on our counter top do not go to staff, but instead are used to give away dozens of cups of tea and coffee to special people who visit us, who would not otherwise be able to enjoy a beverage in a cafe in Biggleswade.

Finally, if we sold 17 extra cups of coffee per day during August, (17 above what we've been selling so far), we'd be self sustaining, so there's a target for August!

Want to help? Email to find out about paying in advance for your coffee before you've drunk it, or just come in, sit down and enjoy some food and drink with us.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Coffee Taste Test

This coming week, we're running a taste test for the best Fair Trade bean.
If you'd like to attend this event, then email for details.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Special Offers

From time to time Cafe Mocha has some crazy special offers.
Some are fun, some are completely free, some are just crazy.

If you'd like to know about our special offers, and you're not a FaceBook 'Friend of Cafe Mocha', then send your email address to and we'll send you details of the crazy offers that we invent from time to time.

If you are on facebook, then join this group:
Until you join us, you're missing out. Be happy with us

Friday, 18 July 2008

Fair Trade Cola - Ubuntu

From Saturday we're trialling a fair trade cola. We're starting it at £1.00 (which makes us just 16p profit per can).

It's not a 'value' Cola, or that stuff I remember as a kid called Coola.
It's not like Cola flavour, it's actually premium cola, that tastes great.
You're not reminded on every mouthful, that you've made a noble choice.

Give it a try! And check out the 'Taste of Malawi' video (on the right hand column), which shows the home of Ubuntu Cola

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Community Information

From Friday, the Cafe now has a community information resource.
It sounds very grand. In reality it's a catalogue of community events, services, and local groups that friends of Café Mocha might find useful.

If you run a community service or have a local event or good cause that you'd like to publicise, pop into the Cafe, with a paper advert no bigger than A4, or email it to and we'll add it to our A4 files that are available for people to browse through.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Images of Cafe Mocha

From time to time, somebody sends us a cracking image of Cafe Mocha. (Thanks to Raf for this one)
I thought I'd start sharing these. If you click the picture to the right, you'll see a much bigger picture.

Whilst we're talking and images and impresstions, if you have ideas, suggestions, comments, hints, tips or other photos of Cafe Mocha, drop us an email:

Your thoughts and comments are really helpful. Please keep them coming

Friday, 4 July 2008

Hello to RaSPBerries.

New in this week:

  • A lovely Raspberry and Blueberry fruit smoothy which is fairtrade, a little tiny, but very tasty. (£1.75)

  • We also have two new toasted items: vegetable tikka panini, and a chilli-beef panini. Both are yummy and definitely not tiny! (£2.95)

  • Lastly, a fair-trade choclate chip flapjack. MMMm mmmm mmmmm (80p)

This Saturday Rachel and Bill are working as volunteers.
Pop in and say 'Hello', or just say "Give me all your your ice-cream", and try all three of our ice-cream sundaes. The choice is yours.

Monday, 30 June 2008

Cool people

Well the carnival is over. We had our best trading day so far, and cut some of our losses. Alan and Phil from Biggles FM came in and interviewed us after the carnival, and that was broadcast on Sunday.

We have a new fridge thanks to two lovely donations to the Cafe. One of which was anonymous, so who ever you are, thanks so much for the encouraging note, and for the donation. Our old fridge had the sound output and cooling capabilities of a chain-saw. Now we're greener, cooling just the air inside the fridge instead of the whole town. Thankyou to those 'Cool' people.

If you fancy helping Cafe Mocha, you can:
- Pre-pay for your coffee using special cards (But 9 get 1 free)
- Volunteer
- Or just spread the word.

Thursday, 26 June 2008


We're another little bit greener.

This time, we've invested in a pair of solar panels that sit in our shop window.

Whilst you're drinking coffee and reading our papers, you can now recharge your ipod, mobile phone or other gadgets (for free) using the power of the sun. Our solar panels charge batteries, that in turn charge your gadget, so you'll get a green charge even if it's cloudy outside.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008


The Biggleswade Carnival will soon be in Biggleswade (Saturday 28th June for the parade)

Biggles FM is now on-air (87.9FM) and on-line again (
...So there's plenty to start getting excited about.
Watch out for Cafe Mocha leaflets at the Carnival parade this Saturday. We have a July BOGOFF offer on hot drinks valid Monday-Friday and the coupons are only availble at the Carnival.

Friday, 13 June 2008

The Chronicles of Biggleswade

If you're reading this after learning about Café Mocha from an article in the Biggleswade Chronicle - Thank you! Do get in touch, we'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Keep Sundaes Special

This Saturday, why not watch the world go by over an Ice Cream Sundae in Cafe Mocha?

How much? - Just £1.90 and we serve coffee from just £1.20
We've got Banana and Toffee, Strawberry and Chocolate

NB: We're not open on Sundays :)

Monday, 2 June 2008

Renewable Energy

The best quote for renewable energy makes our electricity bill another £12.50 more expensive a month. After we've enjoyed the benefit of exemption from the climate change levy, it'll still cost us £150 extra a year to be greener.

Still, that's not the point. It does mean that the energy used to grind, and heat your coffee, cool your fair trade juices and light your newspaper on a gloomy day, will have come 100% from renewable sources.

We're a another bit greener!

Saturday, 31 May 2008

It's the weekend!

We've continued to resist promotion whilst our new staff get comfortable with their jobs. So far all is well. Everyone has taken to the role of coffee servers and all round chatters really well. One more week, and then we'll start go gently brag a bit more about how special we are, and why people should start drinking coffee & tea with us :)

This week has had some lovely people popping in, some quality conversations, and some friendly faces.

Today (Saturday), why not pop in and see us. We do toasties, paninis, bagels. Alan will be in all day today, and I'm in from 12:00 to 2:00pm

Coming soon in the Café: Fair trade juices, Icecream sundaes and bizarrely Chilli-hot-chocolate!

Oh, and spread the word. We're now open, and we're ready for curious visitors, and new regulars. Don't forget to pick-up your incentive card. 1 free coffee with every 9 stamps.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Fair Trade Coffee

Our Pour-and-Serve' (or to you and me 'Filter Coffee') machine arrived last night.
From today, we're selling a cheaper coffee that is Fair Trade.
It's Cafe Direct's Medium-Roast, and is cheaper than all our other coffee choices.
Are we mad? Er, maybe. We'll see how it goes.

We already sell Fairtrade Tea from Tea-Direct.
Watch this space for fair trade juices

Wednesday, 28 May 2008


From time to time, we'll be going a little bit greener.
Today it's Ecover's turn.

We use Ecover and some other 'own brand' supermarket products with similar environmental benefits

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

What a lovely bunch of customers!

End of day one. Phew! Half Term this week, and the day after a bank holiday weekend. Not sure if that makes it busy or quiet, but general concensus from other traders was that we should be expecting a fairly quiet week. Alan and I were in all day today (with me running a few errands around town on and off).

We took the spot on average takings from the previous owners records today. Not bad I guess as we've changed ownership and pretty much avoided promoting the opening day. There were a few friends visting Cafe Mocha for the first time, which was really reassuring to see. Hopefully they come back!

We need to increase our takings over the next few weeks as we're taking the hit of fair trade product margins being smaller, and generally prices seem to be going up, whilst we've reduced ours by 10% using the loyaly card system.

A good start today. We've kept things in the shop pretty much the same. We'll promote Fair Trade over time, but first off, our job is to get to know the existing customers, who are a lovely bunch of friendly people.

More tomorrow....

Monday, 26 May 2008

We Love Biggleswade!

If you love Biggleswade too, you might like these...
(We sell them - They are delicious)

Sunday, 25 May 2008

We have the keys

A great big Thank you to Sue, the previous owner of the Café. Sue gave us loads of help, training and advice on how to manage the day-to-day running of Café Mocha.

The photo shows Sue (The previous owner and manager) with Alan (The new Manager of Café Mocha). Sue did her last day on Saturday, and we were there to meet her before she closed up to present her with a bouquet of flowers to say "Thank you Sue"

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Taste Test?

Q: Are you a coffee connoisseur?
Q: Would you like to find the best fair trade coffee?
Q: Would you like to take part in a free taste test?

If so, read on...

It's not long until we open now. On the coffee bean front, we bought existing stock of an italian coffee blend called Milano that the existing Mocha customers are used to. It's not fair trade.

From day 1, we're offering a good quality fair trade filter coffee, and we're running with the Milano bean in the espresso machine.

However, we need to pick the best, most preferred bean to replace the Milano stock when that is used up.

I have 4 fair trade beans for us to try. I'll be getting opinions of some of the regulars in our first week of opening. I have a suspicion that we've found the right one, but I'd like your help checking that out.

If you are particular about coffee taste, we need your help.
Email: tasters @ (without the spaces) and I'll send you details of our planned one-off after hours tasting session.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Bottled Water - Good or Bad?

Seems a bit crazy to me, that people would all chip in to pay a lorry driver to deliver water to their house in bottles, when it comes out of the tap already.

That said, people like to carry water around with them, and some people like fizzy water.

Apart from giving water away free water to anyone that presents us with a container, one solution appeals to me a little more.

It's called one-water, and we've placed our first order for a case of still and a case of sparkling.

The story behind the idea is a good one, and I think in summary 100% of "One"'s profits end up helping get water to Africans in remote places in a rather nice way.

Click on the picture to the right of this blog post and watch a 30 second video that explains it all.

As always, feel free to comment on this post

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Money money money

We've paid for the business, paid our rent deposit (£440), paid for our Public Liability and Employee inurance (£350), have our Food and Hygiene training to pay (£325). Have incentive cards, uniforms, some stock to buy, and then we're ready to go.

I talked to the Performing Rights Society yesterday and they want £180 per year for us to be able to play CD's and the Radio to up to 12 customers. Er, I think we'll have to wait before we consider forking out for that.

I just saw a mock-up of the permanent website (I'm just blogging as you know at the moment), and it looks, as they say in Biggleswade, "Swwwweeeeeet". (Cheers Graham B), you are indeed a web master.

Watch this space, for a menu and prices of what we serve, and staff profiles.

So many people have been really encouraged by our café with a difference. Thanks again, to those who have enquired about pre-paying coffee to help cover our start-up costs. I've sold 3 years of drinks (Well, 3 x 50 weeks of drinks). If you're interested too, please drop me an email

Tomorrow it's a trip to the bank manager! (Gulp)

Moch on!

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Big bang Promotion?

What on earth does that mean? Well, for weeks, Lucy, Alan and I have been asked: Are you having a party? Is there a grand opening? Are you doing a leaflet drop in town? And various other sensible questions about stirring interest for the first week of opening.

We concluded that if we hype things up we'll have a week of one-time curious visitors, no seats for our regular existing customers, and then a desert where we've driven away what is already a lovely group of loyal Café Mocha customers, and have answered the towns curiosities, only to be left to twiddle our thumbs. Well maybe not, but you get the picture.

Mean while, we need income and fast. We've bought the business (I paid the remaining balance last night), we've got a starting balance of £0.00. (I think most financial advisors, would at this point pinch themselves, or call a doctor). And our start up costs during this next week of insurance, clothing, training are heading to £1,000.

We came up with another plan. We've created the standard loyalty card, but added an option to pre-pay in advance with the same deal, buy 9, get 1 free. The loyalty card, is a good thing! We pledged we'd lower prices when we could, and take the hit of additional costs in going fairtrade. The loyalty card has allowed us to do this. Repeat customers will be getting the equivalent of 10% cheaper drinks. For our one off visitors, there is no price change.

But, best of all, two people have already pre-paid for 1 years worth of drinks. Yep, I've sold 52 cups of fair-trade tea, and 52 milk shakes, and we've not even opened. Hoorah!
If you're interested in helping with our start-up costs by pre-paying, get in touch.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

The first café mocha

Tonight, the wonderful Sue, taught both Alan and myself how to make our coffee in Café Mocha.
We made about 20 different coffees between us, and even iced Latté's, Frapaccino's and Milk shakes. Not wanting it to go to waste, I am now buzzzzzzzzzzing from too much caffeine!

We do sell de-caf by the way!

Sharlene has already had a fair bit of coffee and shop training, and Rach and Lucy's training is tomorrow

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

The preparation

This week we've:

  • Had the first half of our food and hygiene training
    (Thanks David)
  • Had the first half of our coffee machine training
    (Thanks Sue)
  • Arranged to have employment contracts drawn up
    (Thanks Graham)
  • Got the rental agreement paperwork approved
    (Thanks Steve)
  • Got the funds transferred ready to make our final payment
  • Got business cards and stamps for a potential incentive scheme
  • Got advice on how we best open with Fairtrade tea and coffee from Day 1
    (Thanks Danielle)

Thanks to everyone for your help and support!
There's loads more of you that have sent us encouraging emails and texts. Cheers for reminding us we're not nuts for doing this

Saturday, 10 May 2008

The fair trade challenge

Well we've found a couple of fair trade suppliers and we're waiting for samples.

The main challenge for us, is how do we successfully promote and sell fair trade without putting our prices up?

Fair Trade coffee removes the unfair dealing with the person far far away doing most of the hard work. As a result of agreeing to pay them a fair price, everyone else wants their usual cut too, and the price goes up.

This is to be expected, but choosing fair trade isn't only about choice. It's not about genorosity, because it's just 'fair' rather than 'generous' to pay the right price. One thing seems certain choosing fair trade is not the usual choice for the bargain hunters amongst us, of which I am one.

Feel free to comment on this post. I'll update this post as my sums are completed on how much it could cost us to sell fairer coffee.

This weekend is a chance to catch up on the 20 or so tasks that need to be completed before open day. What a cracking weekend of weather ahead too

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Friends of Café Mocha

Become a friend of Café Mocha by joining our facebook group:
Face Book Friends of Café Mocha

or email us:

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Food & Hygiene

All staff are booked on a council run course for Food and Hygiene.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

The Biggleswade Chronicle

The Biggleswade Chronicle kindly contacted us today to say they'd like to run a story on Cafe Mocha. Hopefully we'll be able to run a story in the 23rd May edition of the Chronicle, as we don't open until 27th May

Friday, 2 May 2008

Location Location...

Where are we in Biggleswade?
Right on the High Street, near the mini roundabout at the bottom of Station Road.
We're next to'Daisy Chain' and very close to Barclays Bank and HSBC Bank

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Staff appointed

Today 2 more staff accepted roles at Cafe Mocha.
We offer an open hourly rate of £6.00 per hour + some paid holiday + some paid sickness. Everyone who's paid is paid the same rate. Accounts are open and available to staff and volunteers.

Today we took on one person working 2 days per week. They'll be bravely getting back to work for the first time in 2-3 years. This is a brilliant start to Café Mocha's aims and objectives.

We've also taken on an emergency cover person who is happy to cover if a member of staff unexpectedly can't do their shift.

Great progress.

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Project Start Date Announced

We open on Tuesday 27th May as the new Café Mocha project.
There will be invitation only open evenings in that first week to raise awareness of our existance and to promote the purposes of the project.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

We're buying it!

At 7:45 on Tuesday 29 April 2008 our offer on Café Mocha was accepted and we paid our deposit
We'll probably take ownership late May or beginning of June 2008

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Wondering what this is all about?

Wondering what Café Mocha is all about?

It's about:

  • Drinking Coffee
  • Relaxing
  • Chatting
  • Making friends
  • Helping each other
  • Trading fairly
  • Open and equal wages
  • Helping people back to work
  • Doing less damage to the environment

It's not about:

  • Profit.

For us, it's about making a good place for people to enjoy.

What's it all about for you? Let us know...

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