COFFEE WITH ART STORY
Coffee With Art was created in early 2013 by two friends Ian Tarvit and Michal Polak .
The business opened it's doors to the public on 20th December 2013.
82 High Street was built in the 1870's. Our shop is the second oldest building in the High Street .
Originally occupied by T.P Clare & Sons watchmaker for nearly 90 years, the shop has seen a wide variety of uses from dry cleaners, video store to a recruitment agency.
The shop had a 1970's style shop front which had been showing its age in recent years. We linked with Bedford Borough Town heritage scheme and heritage lottery funding scheme to create new shop front reminiscent of early days when T.P Clare & Sons the watchmaker ran his business. Using old archive photographs skilled craftsmen created the "new" shop front . The transformation from old 1970’s style shop to what we see today has been tremendous. The interior was left to Ian and Michal to add their unique stamp to the coffee shop as we see it today .
The shop has a warm relaxed feel to it, perfect for meeting friends to business meetings, with the lure of an extensive food and beverage menu to cater for all tastes. Fantastic coffee, loose leaf teas, freshly prepared food, beers, wines and a selection of spirits to compliment our coffee. It’s the ideal place to unwind and relax.
The shop has some unique features which are now part of the fabric of the building, such as the wall of books and the "exploding Library". Local Art work is displayed and changed every few months to give a constant changing look to the environment.
The shop also offers free wi-fi, baby chairs, disabled access and disabled toilet.
MICHAL POLAK & IAN TARVIT
Michal is a keen amateur photographer with an eye for detail and some of his work can be seen displayed in the shop. Using his previous building skills Michael set about creating the interior of Coffee With Art. The added skills as a professional welder also helped to create and design for many of the bespoke features within the shop. Michal has the ability to think ‘ out of the box ‘ to produce the unusual which has certainly given the ‘wow’ factor that customers see when entering the premises for the first time .
Ian's past business and management skills were put to good use in the early stages of securing the site, preparing the business plan and keeping the project and costs within budget. In his earlier years Ian spent 9 years in catering management after graduating from the now Thames Valley University in Hotel and Catering Management. This is now proving invaluable in driving the business forward.