Starling for Business stories: Long & Short Coffee

6th September 2018

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Jeremy is a self-confessed coffee fanatic and a man on a mission. The 34-year-old former marketing executive from Walthamstow in North East London had been roasting his own coffee for years and became more and more frustrated by the quality of coffee available online and in cafés. Earlier this year, he decided to do something about it, teaming up with a friend Ivan, 31, to launch Long & Short Coffee, a roastery providing coffee to shops, cafés and customers through their website. Their goal is clear: to raise the bar for quality coffee everywhere. And to make it affordable for everyone.

The long and the short of it

Jeremy and Ivan initially launched their business with a roastery selling their coffee online. They have now opened their own café in the Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, open at weekends.

Their biggest challenge? “Anything and everything,” Jeremy says. “If anything has the possibility of going wrong it will.”

When it comes to founding a business, his advice is simple: “Just do it. People get too stuck in their own head and insecurities. It’s about ploughing through and making lots of mistakes.”

“We absolutely love this shop but it’s just open at weekends so we only have 15 hours of trade.” This means ordering the right amount of milk, for example, can be a real challenge as they have to predict how much coffee, tea or hot chocolate people will want. And this changes depending on the weather, which can often be hard to predict. They’re now looking for charities to donate leftover ingredients to.

“There isn’t much natural light in the shop, but it’s also really cosy so it works well for classic British weather,” Jeremy says. “We’re plotting to open more cafés this year and sussing out commercial property.”

The next café will be open all week and will have extended hours. “We want to have a café that’s hopefully a bit more rounded and will serve food, craft beer and wine as well as our coffee.”

Jeremy studied design at university and went on to do marketing for several commercial companies and banks. While he was working in the City, he became interested in fintech so he heard about Starling early on. “I like keeping on top of tech and fintech really interests me,” he says.

Jeremy

Business accounts that save time and money

Jeremy heard about the launch event that Starling held in London in March for our mobile-only Starling for Business accounts. He turned up and opened one on the spot. “It took about two minutes I think (maybe even one),” he says.

He started feeling the benefits of the account straight away. “The money we’ve saved in expensive banking fees have been allocated to other, more pressing needs of the business,” he says. “We’d definitely recommend it for any startups looking to keep their costs down.”

Long & Short has already switched many payments over from its old business bank account, something that will be made even easier when the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) launches for business accounts in coming weeks.

As well as CASS, he is looking forward to further integration between Starling and Xero. At the moment, customers can download statements as CSV files and upload these into Xero, but we’re looking into creating a more seamless connection.

Business on the go

“Having a mobile-first account means that doing business on the go - as most businesses do - is so much easier,” he says. “We actually can bank on the move. Not having to jump on to a laptop to do any banking has been magical.”

The payments feature is what has saved Jeremy most time. “Setting up payees for one-off or recurring payments is the biggest bane of any of the traditional banks and their apps. But with Starling, it’s an absolute breeze - no more annoying card readers.”

The other feature that he finds particularly helpful is having the card details in the app. This means that he has access to this on his phone when he doesn’t have the physical card to hand. “The difference in quality and focus of the app compared to traditional banks is night and day.”

For more about Long & Short Coffee, have a look at their website, Twitter and Instagram.

Next

Diving into the Starling Marketplace