‘We wanted the refurbishment to symbolise a new era’: Meet the owner of The Scandinavian Coffee Pod

With a brand-new look and exciting plans for 2022, SoGlos caught up with The Scandinavian Coffee Pod to find out more about its gorgeous refurbishment and talk all things coffee.

By Zoe Gater  |  Published

One of Cheltenham’s most unique spots for exceptional coffee, The Scandinavian Coffee Pod is kicking off the new year in style, having undergone an extensive refurbishment to give it a brand-new look for 2022.

SoGlos caught up with owner, Sophie Adkins, to find out more about the interior revamp and the Pod’s exciting plans for this year – including its low waste cocktail evenings!

Meet the owner – Sophie Adkins from The Scandinavian Coffee Pod

In an obsessive quest for exceptional coffee, Sophie Adkins acquired The Scandinavian Coffee Pod in 2021. She immediately got to work on transforming it into something incredibly special – which is, above all, a space that celebrates excellent coffee.

Situated in Cheltenham, the Pod offers ethically-sourced coffee, espresso and V60 filter options, alongside locally-sourced cakes and pastries, with gluten-free and vegan options. Guests can expect freshly roasted, seasonal coffee blends partnered with Scandi design details, offering a brilliant atmosphere – somewhere to relax alone or with friends and enjoy the space and exceptional coffee.

For more information, visit thescandinaviancoffeepod.com.

Tell us a bit about the history of The Scandinavian Coffee Pod

The Scandinavian Coffee Pod was established in September 2014, operating from our tiny five-square-metre glass and steel yellow coffee pod, which gave the inspiration for our name.

Everything we do, and continue to do, is built upon the Scandinavian principle of doing simple, well. In our case, this means concentrating solely on the quality and taste of our coffee.

Although we have grown so much in the last couple of years, our heart is still with that original pod, which is now the permanent entrance to our building at The Studios on Royal Well Place in Cheltenham.

What has changed since the refurbishment?

Not only have we gone for a completely new look, we have also kicked off the new year with a really exciting partnership between The Scandinavian Coffee Pod and Assembly Coffee Roasters – an award-winning coffee roastery founded in 2015 and based in Brixton in London. We are thrilled to be brewing and serving Assembly Coffee, the quality of their coffee is just exceptional!

What was the inspiration behind your new refurbishment to The Scandinavian Coffee Pod?

We wanted the refurbishment to symbolise a new era for The Scandinavian Coffee Pod. So much has changed in the last 12 months, and there are some exciting changes taking place moving forward.

The space was in need of a face lift, so we installed a completely new bar that compliments the changing needs of the business. As we have become increasingly busier, we felt we were seriously outgrowing the old bar. We had it slightly redesigned to help our team with their workflow and efficiency.

The black look is new for us, but we felt it better resembled the brand, and tied better into our ethos of keeping things simple, clean and free from visual clutter, in order to not distract away from what we do best – coffee.

How has the pandemic affected your business?

It was a very unpredictable time for us. All the usual patterns we had previously observed completely went out of the window. We had to adapt quickly. We made various changes to the space and the layout, in order to optimise our takeaway trade.

We pushed our marketing efforts on social media, to reach out to more people across Cheltenham, to let them know where we were. Slowly but surely, more people were able to discover us, along with many other businesses across Cheltenham. We felt that we became a safe haven for people during the pandemic, a moment of escape from everything else going on in the world. A chance for people to feel normal and establish a routine.

Even though it was just a takeaway coffee, I think people really appreciated the chance to do something that felt somewhat familiar and comforting. What’s great is that we still carry that strong takeaway trade to this day.

Alongside being a coffee bar, you also host low waste cocktails evenings – tell us more about that.

Coming out of the pandemic, we felt we wanted to do something that would engage the local community, in a way that would allow everyone to feel relaxed and have some fun! So, we teamed up with friends of ours: Matt and Freddie who own Four Cats Bars. They agreed to collaborate with us, to turn our space into a pop-up bar. We had our first this February and it was a hit! We are looking forward to having them back, so watch this space.

What’s special about these cocktails is that the guys use our waste products – spent coffee, left-over oat milk and pastries that would otherwise have been thrown away – and totally transform them into delicious cocktails with unique flavour profiles.

What makes The Scandinavian Coffee Pod different from other coffee shops?

Following the Scandinavian ethos of doing simple, well, we focus solely on our coffee – so we try to avoid anything that would take away from the quality and taste experience of our coffee. Our menu is small, but very considered.

It all comes back to this. The idea that for me, coffee is not just a drink, it’s a sensory experience. Everything about it – the smell, the taste, the colour – invites you in. That first sip you take in the morning is an explosion of flavour in your mouth, a familiar, but never tiring experience. Coffee is a moment to pause. To be present, mindful.

So, my goal was to bring this to life for every customer at The Scandinavian Coffee Pod. To focus solely on providing the absolute best taste experience with every cup. I think that is what makes us different.

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