When did your interest in coffee begin?
I have always been more of a coffee drinker than a tea drinker. When I was a child, I remember visiting my grandparents in Sweden. The smell of fresh coffee brewing and all the amazing artworks they had on their walls and the cool modern interiors always seemed so sophisticated and so different from our life in a small village just outside Scarborough. I have always loved drinking coffee but I never thought I would end up working for a coffee company.
What does your role at H.R. Higgins involve?
My role began when I redesigned the interior of the Duke Street shop in 2014. Last summer I took on the role of ‘Creative Director’. Since then I have been making little changes to how we look. H.R. Higgins has so much history and lovely traditional branding. I didn't want to come along and change everything. We have a very loyal customer base that love what we do. Using my textile skills, I designed the coffee bean tiles for the shop. This pattern has now become a symbol of our brand , and we recently used it on the new coffee caddies. I have also designed a new Japanese inspired floral print for the tea caddies.
When we celebrated the 75th anniversary of the shop last year I hand painted seventy five tea caddies with a special floral design which sold out in an hour!
The next step is to redesign the postal packaging. Watch this space!
What have you learned working at H.R. Higgins?
I feel like I learn something new everyday. David and Tony have such a knowledge of their trade. Any conversation I have with either is an education. Learning about all the different teas and coffees is all new for me as I trained in fashion and textiles. Recently, I visited a coffee plantation in India and it was amazing to see the plants. I had no idea the coffee plant was so pretty! I definitely think there is inspiration for a new print design there!
Has working for H.R. Higgins changed you in any way?
Having worked in the fashion industry for many years, the work pace was really fast. Constantly reinventing for each season. I moved back to Yorkshire 9 years ago and have worked on interior projects and shop designing with tight deadlines. Working for H.R. Higgins has given me the opportunity to focus on one project at a time, allowing me to be creative in a new field that poses different challenges which I love .
What are your plans for the future?
As the business is growing, I hope to develop more products and refine the way we look with a light touch. My desire is to provide more information for the customer like the tasting cards. I introduced the taster kits which have been incredibly popular, particularly at the moment when people want to try new teas and coffees at home. I love painting so more limited edition tea caddies too.
Do you prefer tea or coffee?
I definitely drink more coffee than tea but my love of tea is growing. The variety and quality of Higgins teas are amazing.
What is your favourite Higgins coffee to drink at home?
I am a creature of habit and drink the 1942 blend everyday.
How do you brew at home?
At home, I use a moka pot. I have an Alessi maker which I have owned for 20 years. I always grind my beans fresh and warm the milking my little copper pan. I don't have a huge amount of milk, the colour of the coffee resembles a nut or as they say in France 'Une Noisette'.
What is your favourite Higgins tea?
I have so many! Camomile Flowers, Japanese Sencha and Blue Lady are all firm favourites. At home its Duke Street Blend. I love making Kombucha and use a mixture of 3 teaspoons each of Duke Street Blend, and Chun Mee and 2 teaspoons of Winter Tea. The citrus flavours of the Winter Tea really enhances the overall flavour.
When did you last laugh and why?
I have 4 children so life is busy and pretty crazy but it means we laugh a lot. Only this morning my son Bertie came downstairs wearing a pink tutu!