Hopper Coffee on Godstall Lane has been open a year. Owner Mark Higgins chatted to us about his first year, plus his new idea to promote fellow independents and creatives.
“We’ve been open a year. A long year but a good year and things have changed a lot. When we first opened we were using a local supplier for our sandwiches , now we make everything in house. We listened to what people were saying and changed things, and the last few months have been really busy.
“I’ve met so many people . Being here has helped me find people that I didn’t know existed. ” Mark’s idea to celebrate local creatives is the “Independent’s Wall”.
He says that there are lots of ways for artists to promote themselves , but “they cost.. Some of these are small cottage industries and they don’t have the capability to it.”. The wall will showcase “anything independent and local,artists, events or people that provide services. ” He says that as the space grows with one wall developing into a “what’s on”.
Hopper Coffee showcase local artists currently, with art from Tom Scott (@trebelscott ) on display. Mark told me that he has commissioned ex chef Tom to design a custom artwork for the coffee shop. The signage for Hopper Coffee was produced by sign maker @HairyMitten .
“These people need exposure, and although social media is brilliant, physical media where people can see, touch or even buy them is important. ” Mark is pleased by the connections he has made over the last year : “I have met so many people during the last 12 months. They’re your customers but you find out about them, things that are going on in their jobs!
“It’s been a learning curve, you have to be able to listen to your customers. You can never be afraid to learn or listen or change things when you do things wrong. And I know I’ve done things wrong.
“I think Chester is going through a lot of changes and obviously it splits people. The new bus station… I’m all for it! I think it will bring people into town that end, the Frodsham street end. And I know businesses on Northgate street that have been helped by the Fountains car park. Plus Storyhouse is going to be amazing, and I’ve met the people as well. The enthusiasm is infectious and you want to be part of it. It’s going to be an asset. Having stuff that’s run by people you know its going to be amazing. Its a great use of a brilliant building. ”