Chichester's newest independent coffee shop opens in 'iconic building'

Chichester’s newest independent coffee shop could also be its smallest – measuring just 2m in diameter.

Coffee Round, which is based in the ‘iconic’ old ticket office at the entrance of Chichester cattle market car park, can only squeeze two employees inside at a time.

Managers Alex Harris (left) and Charlie Fay at the Coffee Round

Managers Alex Harris (left) and Charlie Fay at the Coffee Round

The building had stood empty for about 40 or 50 years before local businessman Phil Harris spotted its potential for conversion into a coffee shop last year.

“It’s quite an iconic building,” he said. “Everyone knows it. The building has been here so long and everyone walks past it,”

After months spent securing a lease from the council, Phil carried out a complete refit of the building and installed professional barista equipment.

“We put a lot of thought into the design,” Phil said. “It’s all quite compact – it’s like fitting out a caravan. We’ve put a lot of effort into it.”

Following a few trial runs, the coffee shop has been officially open for the last two weeks from 8am to 4pm everyday, serving coffee as well as ice creams, cakes, crisps, soft drinks and Shmoo milkshake.

Phil, whose main business is running the shop fitting company Infinity Shopfitting, said: “A lot of the feedback is – what a great idea, I wish I had thought of it.”

People may not be able to enjoy their coffee inside the building, which is decorated with flags, but there is a table and chair outside.

Phil is keen to attract trade from some of the 1900 motorists who use the cattle market car park everyday as they make their way into Chichester.

He has already seen in a boost in sales on Sunday thanks to the car boot sale at the site.

Phil is hoping local people will get behind the venture and said: “If people support it, it will work.”

The coffee shop is currently managed by Phil’s son, Alex Harris, and Charlie Fay, but Phil is also on the lookout for new employees.

He is particularly keen to hire young people studying at college or the university.

“We are looking for young people from the community,” he said. “We are trying to give something back.”

To find out more, search @CoffeeRoundChichester on Facebook.

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