It had long been a dream of ours to open a coffee shop . . . .
In the mid-1990s we were lucky enough to go on two extended back-packing trips around the world. When we returned home between trips, we noted that a kind of ‘coffee revolution’ had taken place in the UK with new coffee bars opening up everywhere we looked. This inspired us to have our own coffee shop and we returned to our travels with new plots and plans – and ended up spending a lot of time ‘doing research’ (as we liked to think of it) in as wide a range of coffee shops as we could find.
We returned to the UK full of ideas, but life – especially the need to earn some money – got in the way and our plans were put on hold. However, a spell working as an area manager for a well-known coffee company gave Philip some good training and brought us to Haywards Heath.
What surprised us most about living here was that the so-called ‘coffee revolution’ seemed to have completely passed by our adopted home! There was nowhere to enjoy a decent cup of coffee in a relaxed and comfortable environment – and so our plan was resurrected.
After much hard work, our coffee shop – The Bay Tree – opened in January 2003 and we like to think we have become part of the local community. We serve the very best smooth and aromatic coffee, with beans sourced from a West Sussex roaster. Our hot chocolate is truly delicious (and made from a top-secret recipe!). And we have a fantastic range of iced and blended drinks to suit all tastes. We make most of our delicious food on the premises (in a tiny kitchen) and what we can’t make we source from just a few select suppliers.
However, what really sets us apart from the other coffee shops that have popped up in town is our wonderful team of people – aka The Bay Tree Family. We only hire the nicest, friendliest people who genuinely want to make your visit as special as possible, whether it is your first time or your 100th. Nothing is too much trouble, and you only have to ask if you want something made just the way you like it.
Our wish is simple: to serve the most delicious food and drink in a friendly neighbourhood coffee shop with its own distinct style and charm. Come along and try it for yourself – we’re sure you’ll love it.
Philip and Sarah George