What’s the business all about?
Lisa: ALMA is an idea that we were toying with for a long time. I have many years of experience in catering, including four years working at the Pig & Pastry and five years as manager for York Explore, the company that runs the York libraries café.
Andres: Last year we started looking for the right place. A shop that can accommodate a beautiful café with spaces for the gift shop and potentially a few art materials. We started an Etsy page selling my designs. The page worked well and that gave us more confidence to put the two businesses together, the designs and the café.
What food and drink will you be serving?
Lisa: The café will have a variety of offers. We will have a breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea menu. Fresh salads every day, open sandwiches and toasties. All made with local suppliers within York. Delicious brownies, fresh scones and a variety of vegan cakes.
We will do milkshakes with Yorvale ice cream and coffee from York emporium plus much more!
This will be a little bit controversial for nerdy historians: “Coppergate” means “street of the cup-makers”. In the 12th century it was first recorded as a centre for coopers, from which its name derives. Nothing to do with the orange, soft metal!
But that didn’t stop us designing an interior based on a well-spread false assumption: so the café interior will be a clean, decluttered space with old industrial copper pendant lights, and copper decoration.
Even the basin in the toilet is made of an old copper pan. A copper palace on Coppergate!
Residents & Tourists
We wanted to build a café that we would love to enjoy. So we were very clear from the beginning in our intention to build something “hand made”. We want it to feel like a cool second home for the people that visit it.
The place where you have your breakfast and read the papers, in your favourite corner… or maybe a treat with your partner on a sofa in a quiet basement.
As residents of York sometimes we had the sensation that tourism is so big that almost alienated the residents' relationship with the city centre. That is why we decided to build a little hub open to everybody but also keen to our local community.