Find out a little bit more about our 2016 North Tyneside Retail and Service Provider Award winner!
The Coffee Giant was founded in September 2008 with the main aim of providing speciality coffees from a quirky mobile van to staff based in remote locations.
Fast forward less than a decade and whilst owner and founder Denise Marshall continues to be famed for her quality, speciality coffees and her quirky, purpose-built coffee van, the business today offers so much more.
Whilst Denise’s commitment to quality and customer service maintains the driving force of her business – and she still claims to make the best coffees in the region – Coffee Giant now operates its own café, manages numerous staff restaurants in the region and provides a full service event management business from its Long Benton base.
Denise set up The Coffee Giant after spending 23 years working in banking. Over the years Denise held a variety of senior positions including personal assistant to the Executive Team, area manager and senior manager of one of the largest sales teams. She was no stranger to high profile corporate events and despite the best efforts of local event organisers, Denise admits she always felt that she could have done things a little bit better than those appointed to the job.
So when faced with the threat of redundancy, Denise decided to put her love for food and her organisational skills to good use and given that the corporate world was the only world she really knew she decided to enter corporate catering.
She said: “In 2008, mobile coffee carts were not common place but I could see there was a growing demand for quality coffee regardless of location. People were increasingly unwilling to simply have any old hot drink from a polystyrene cup but wanted to be able to access speciality coffees at their workplace, whether that be a building site or an out of town office park.”
Denise took her purpose built coffee cart to the business parks and building sites of the regions and it didn’t take long to secure regular trade at these locations but her coffee cart also attracted the eye of some of the region’s large corporate businesses who hired it out for their own events.
She explained: “The relationships with the corporate clients grew organically and I naturally found myself getting more involved and was soon organising full events from start to finish; sourcing the venues, dressing the rooms, securing the entertainment and preparing the food and drink.
“The business was inadvertently thrusted in to the limelight in front of some of the north east’s biggest businesses and then one day we were approached by one such firm to set up their own staff restaurant. Within three months we had transformed an empty space in to a busy staff restaurant; we successfully managed the project from start to finish from designing the space to managing the build to building the restaurant team and providing the food.” Before long, The Coffee Giant was repeating the exercise at other offices in the region and now successfully manages six staff restaurants in various locations, providing freshly made dishes on a daily basis.
Never one to sit still, Denise approached North Tyneside Council about taking over an empty café unit at The Oxford centre in Long Benton. There, she has created a well-used community café where she offers subsidised home cooked meals as well as hosting a number of community focused events throughout the year.
Denise adds: “The Oxford Centre has a purpose built industrial kitchen which we now use to service our entire business in return for providing significantly discounted meals to the local community. It’s such a lovely venue and we have quickly built up a loyal following of customers but welcome anyone to come along and enjoy the delicious discounted meals we serve.”
With her own commercial kitchen and her 30 strong workforce, Denise has continued to grow the business and is now supplying her delicious food and drinks to a whole host of corporate clients. She said: “Whether it be catering for a lunch time meeting or an evening event for hundreds of people, we always set out with the same intention of wowing customers and guests alike. We always aim to beat not meet expectations which is why I think we have enjoyed so much repeat custom and word of mouth referrals.”
So with nearly a decade of trading under her belt and boasting a host of secure, long-standing clients on the books, will the next decade prove to be a slightly slower one for the self-confessed workaholic?
“Never,” she laughed. “We are just about to launch in to the consumer market, taking our expertise, commitment and quality to the region’s brides and grooms. With a growing demand for quirky wedding venues, comes a need for quality event managers and caterers and we know we have the exact skills and knowledge to offer just that and provide the ‘wow’ that brides and grooms long to achieve for their big day.” To find out more about The Coffee Giant visit www.thecoffeegiant.co.uk