The Perth duo behind Manifesto Coffee are getting ready to open their new city centre cafe and on-site roastery in early 2022.
Alex MacIntyre and Lukasz Lewaszkiewicz launched their coffee-roasting business during lockdown last year and recently converted all their packaging to recyclable aluminum drinks cans.
Now the pair have picked up the keys to a premises on Perth’s Princes Street arcade and are hard at work preparing it for renovations.
They intend to move their existing roastery at Inveralmond Industrial Estate to the city centre site.
This means Perth will have its first coffee shop with a roastery attached.
Investment for Manifesto Coffee
Alex and Lukasz are also on the lookout for investors to help them realise their dream.
If they can raise somewhere in the region of £100,000 to £120,000 they would be able to buy a new larger capacity roaster, a die-cutter for their can labels and employ someone to concentrate solely on E-commerce.
At present, they’re able to invest around £10,000 in fitting out the new shop.
The duo intend to carry out most of the work themselves and reuse and recycle as much as possible.
Director Alex, 38, explains: “Investors would be awesome. We’ve got a couple of people interested and one that’s certain.
“We can actualise everything with what we’ve got, scraping through, but there’s an upper goal we’d love to achieve.
“This would allow us to get all the equipment we need and hire someone. That would be the dream.”
Roastery cafe dream
Born out of the first Covid lockdown, Alex, says Manifesto Coffee was launched prematurely due to life plans going awry.
He has worked in the coffee shop industry for 15 years in his native Sydney, as well as London and Edinburgh and met Lukasz during this time.
He added: “It was always our intention to start a roastery – but not for another year or so.
“Roastery cafes aren’t quite as common in the UK as they are in Australia or the US. It’s largely due to the cost of space.
“We started the roastery last March – largely because both Lukasz and I lost our jobs.
“My wife and I also had to cancel our six-week trip to Australia, so Lukasz and his wife had to move into our flat because they were supposed to flat sit for us.
“When we started out, we had enough money to buy a few sacks of coffee and that was it. So we bootstrapped it from nothing.”
Coffee and cake
In August, the pair began offering their beans in recyclable cans that resemble craft beer tins.
Alex says the interest in the cans has increased to businesses throughout the UK.
And if he wasn’t busy enough already, he and his wife welcomed twins into the world eight weeks ago – so he’ll certainly be needing a few cups of coffee to keep him going throughout the renovations.
They had originally hoped for a mid-December opening but are now aiming for mid to late January.
The premises at 46 Princes Street forms part of the arcade, with archways over the front of the shop.
It is 127 square metres and Alex and Lukasz intend to split it as evenly as possible between their two operations.
Details of what will be on offer alongside the coffee are yet to be confirmed.
Alex added: “We’ve got some pretty ridiculous cookie recipes so we will do our own cookies and cakes.”