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- Our Story -

We founded Ape Men And The Bean and now the all new Colonnade Cafe with one goal in mind.  Providing a high-quality coffee Shop for the community. Our passion for excellence has driven us from the beginning and continues to drive us into the future. We know that every product counts, we strive to make the entire experience as rewarding as possible. Check it out for yourself! 

The Colonnade Cafe (originally Ape men and the bean) specialise in mobile craft coffee, providing the best service from the minute the bean enters the grinder, to the bitter sweet symphony of flavours rolling around on your palate.

Hi I’m Jez, the owner ! This is a little bit about me:

I left school to venture into the world of hospitality, beginning with a 2 year chef apprenticeship in my home town of Huddersfield. In my third year I set off to sunny Cornwall to broaden my experience as a pastry chef. It was great for a while, but I needed something more from the industry. So I went back to west Yorkshire and tried a different approach. I landed the role of Assistant Manager in a fine dining restaurant.


By the age of 21 I was in desperate need of some true restaurant experience. I worked up the courage to persuade my London based brother to send my CV into the world famous IVY restaurant. At first, I thought it was something I would end up giggling about in the future... I imagined it would have taken a miracle for a restaurant of such calibre to take little young me on. My chance came and I strove to achieve 4 great years at the Ivy. It was the hardest , but most rewarding 4 years of my career!. I earned a skillset for life.

After The Ivy, I did a further 2 years at the fabulous Wolseley restaurant. Working under the best restauranteurs in the world.

By the age of 27 I needed a little break from the industry and a bit of fun. So I focused on my other passion, music. I got myself a job as a cocktail bartender in a local rock bar in Islington to support me. It was there that I found a true calling as a mixologist and set off to find some experience in other quirky bars in and around Shoreditch. This lead me to the position of bar manager at Ottolenghi in Spitalfields.

Now my journey had started.


When I threw myself into the world of coffee I was scared stiff. It was the one area within the industry that I simply couldn’t master. I remember taking my team for some Barista training whilst at Ottolenghi, as I knew I needed some myself. A load in fact!. Everything else I learned throughout my career, I took to like a duck-to-water. With coffee, no way!

It was like my skill set was thrown out of the window and I was useless. I had to learn this beautiful art.

 

I will never forget the first time I walked into the roastery at Climpson and Sons. It was there that I fell in love. They harnessed the passion, the quality and the SCIENCE. It sent my senses all over the place. It was then that I knew, from the first time I tried to extract the perfect espresso, to the first time I tried to steam milk. Craft coffee was something I was fascinated with and I needed more!.

So, with a lot of hard work, patience and heck of a long time churning milk. I have aspired to become my own mentor.

This is what Ape men and the bean was all about...A journey...A statement.

A journey that has lead me all the way to the Colonnade Cafe and hopefully beyond.

It will be my pleasure to share this journey with you.

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