Food & Drink

Telephone box revamped into Twickenham’s smallest coffee shop

A couple have converted a Twickenham red telephone box into a coffee shop, adding to their small chain of telephone box themed stalls.

Lore Mejia, 28, and Sean Rafferty, 31, who own the chain Amar Cafe, transformed their first telephone box in March 2020 in Chiswick and have since created coffee stands in Stratford-upon-Avon and Greenwich.

They suffered a setback as the Chiswick stall was forced to close a week after opening due to lockdown, but it eventually reopened, and they continued to venture out their business.

ICONIC: Twickenham’s red telephone box, converted into a coffee stall

Inspired by her love for Colombian coffee, Mejia said: “Coffee has always been a part of my life, so I went back to my home-town in Colombia with my husband to visit a coffee farm.

“We wanted to give the people of London the opportunity to have great Colombian coffee, so we started looking into a market or a small shop until we saw a telephone box and thought it would be great.

“Lockdown made it difficult for our first business in Chiswick, but it also helped us to concentrate and expand our business.

“My husband used to live in Twickenham and when we saw the telephone box was available in that area, we went to have a look around.

“The first thing that came to mind was a lot of birds all around the riverside, somehow I felt like I was in Colombia.

“That’s where our inspiration came from for the design of the telephone box in Twickenham.

“The community has been great to us, we were surprised. Everyone loves the coffee which was the main thing for us and lots of people liked the idea as well as recognised our other businesses.

“We are always looking and in search for other telephone boxes, but we want to supply coffee to other cafes and supermarkets around.”

COLOMBIAN: The coffee is from the couple’s Colombian sources

The couple starting sourcing coffee from single farms, states, and cooperatives in Colombia while working closely with the farmers to bring their speciality coffee to London.

She added: “We believe Colombia has the best coffee and as we have a direct relationship with the farmers, we know exactly where and how the coffee is grown. We are very proud at that.”

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