We're always amazed by the wonderfully, creative people we meet on Instagram so now we're giving away gift boxes of our coffee to them!
As the antithesis of frenzied, modern day life, at Cupsmith we're passionate about taking time out to enjoy more quiet moments in life, and we want more people to share their quiet moments with us. So, simply tag your instagram photo #myquietmoment and each Friday we'll pick our favourite and send you a box of our freshly roasted coffees to enjoy!
Find us here sharing our #myquietmoment @cupsmith.
Our motto at Cupsmith:
We'll announce the winner each week via Instagram and there is no limit to the number of times you can enter. So go on, tag #myquietmoment and hopefully we'll be sending you a box of coffee soon!
Each week's prize is a Cupsmith Gift Box of 3 bags of freshly roasted coffee. Prize includes postage to within the UK.
*Unfortunately we can only post gift boxes to UK addresses.
In the first of our series of coffees with people we really like, we chat to Joanne Van Campen. Joanne is the brains and beautification behind the Cupsmith brand.
We met Joanne, quite literally, at the school gates as our two little boys went to the same village nursery, and now as boisterous 6 year olds they get scabby knees and mucky shirts at the same lovely primary school in our village. Joanne worked on our brand right from the start and has helped grow and develop it into one we’re really proud of.
When Joanne’s not at Cupsmith, she can be found running her small but perfectly formed design agency Little Bulldog, with her trusty companion Max (an enormous Labrador-wolf-pup-at-heart) at her feet. She also sells personalised party invitations here, and is planning a range of hand printed cards as we speak.
We sat down with Joanne over a cup of coffee (we do that several times a day anyway) and asked her a few questions (she hates talking about herself so we had to make sure the coffee was really good and the door shut so she couldn’t escape…)
Joanne, where do you find the inspiration for the work you do?
I would say my inspiration comes in equal parts from nature and from children. The forms and colours I love come from nature, I’m particularly taken by all the beautiful grasses in the hedgerows at the moment (watch this space!). But I strongly believe that grown ups take themselves and life far too seriously so I am also happily influenced by my little boy and his friends and their natural sense of wonder and curiosity. I try to work with clients to be brave like children and let their customers see their personality in their business, to make customers smile and wonder and feel like they are part of the story.
Tell us about colour and how it influences your life
I love colour, it makes me happy. I studied art rather than design at university and I think that helped me be a lot braver with colour than a lot of other designers. I didn’t learn rules as to when and where to use colour in communication, but instinctively colours come together to create a feeling, an atmosphere. But more importantly perhaps you have to have light to give the colours life, to let them breathe. Too much colour can be worse than none at all. It’s a very personal thing so you can’t please everyone.
What are your favourite colours?
I love most colours except mauve and beige, but blue has always been my favourite colour followed at a respectful distance by bright green. I love blue because it is calm and true, the colour of the sky and the sea. My favourite shade of blue is the deep purple blue when day merges into night.
What’s your style at home?
I think it’s safe to say that our style at home is small house living combined with lots of stuff & animals! We are a family of sentimental hoarders and although we sometimes consider changing, we’re actually rather happy! We don’t have an overwhelming style of decorating in our home, just bits and bobs that we’ve picked up along the way but I’m soon going to start refurbishing our old solid teak sideboard so you never know I might have a new career ahead!
What are some of your most treasured things in your home and why?
My mum has had these little wooden men for years and recently she handed them on to me. They're very quirky and I really love them! The print is by Alex Dipple and is created from full stops in magazines that she then collated into this amazing picture. And I'm a huge fan of marbles, I have a huge collection.
Which is your favourite Cupsmith coffee?
Definitely Mr Bentley’s. Before Cupsmith, I used to think I liked really strong coffee, but actually I like smooth, chocolatey coffee brewed quite strongly. Mr Bentley’s coffee is just that. I brew it quite strong and add a splash of milk and it’s perfect, it’s even better when it cools down a bit, like lovely smooth chocolate milk. I love Mr B’s so much he gets to wear my favourite colour label and have my favourite Cupsmith illustration, the bicycle. Although saying all that, I never say no to a fantastic Cupsmith cappuccino freshly made at the roastery from freshly roasted, freshly ground Glorious Espresso.
As a brand and business, Cupsmith is all about slowing down, watching the clouds go by. How do you relax and slow down?
I have to go for at least one long walk with my dog through the fields everyday. Not just for his sake but for mine. It sets me off for the day ahead and calms me down after a particularly busy day. I’m very lucky to live somewhere where I can stroll through beautiful fields and woodland with the birds singing and bees buzzing. Also as a family, we all love having lazy, unscheduled weekends to go wandering in the woods, stopping to look under rocks and listening for the birds singing. Perfect!
How important do you think it is that we all slow down?
So so important. We seem to live in a world now where it’s a competition to see who can be busiest, but overall the best bits of life end up passing us by because we’re too busy. If we get sucked in, then every minute of our lives ends up being a jigsaw puzzle fitting everything in. We never schedule time to notice the birds singing, the sun setting or our babies growing. The cure? Why children of course! They make you stop and notice, they won’t rush no matter how late you are. They show you all the amazing things you’ve forgotten about and remind you how to marvel at the world around you. The best way to slow down is to sit down with a child and listen, they’re far more interesting than grownups, they have much better ideas and tell far better stories.
If you've read a bit about us and wondered how we got where we are, here's a little bit more of our Cupsmith story, as told to Life After London, a website that helps people move out of London.
We swapped smog for smug when we upped sticks and left Putney in July 2013. We’d been living in London for as long as we could remember, and we had our first baby, a boy. We both carried on working, we had a nanny, we spent most Saturdays at London farmers markets (not a farmer in sight) and we used Sitters on a regular basis so we could trip the light fantastic. Until one day I looked at my little boy scooting up Putney high street, dodging pedestrians, me on red alert for potential dangers which seemed to surround us, and I thought ‘enough’. We realised we didn’t want our little boy to grow up in London, we wanted him to run in fields and be able to scoot freely and to his heart’s content. We were also done with farmers’ markets that sold sushi. We wanted farmers’ markets with grubby potatoes instead.
Choosing an area
We chose the Farnham area because one of our oldest friends lived there and she said her neighbours were selling their house. We did the all-important ‘Commute Calculation’ that confirmed Farnham was within 45 minutes of London and the station was a 4 minute scooter journey (car parking at the station would have lightened our bank balance by over £1500 a year, ouch), so Farnham got a tick. And then having looked at about 10 houses in a 10 mile radius, we plumped for the one next door to our friends. And this proved to be the best decision we could have made. Moving to an area where you already know someone, makes the move out of London so much easier. It can be a lonely time for whoever is left at home with the kids, while the other commutes back to London every day. So having a friend nearby is my top tip for choosing where to live. Yes it’s important how many minutes it takes to commute to Waterloo, how much car parking costs etc, but I’d put being near a friend as the most important.
Choosing a house
First up, there’s no dream house. Yes, there’s an old Georgian rectory with roses rambling over the porch and cows in the fields behind. And yes, there’s a house in walking distance of an incredible school that Ofsted rates ‘excellent’ year after year. Oh and yes, there’s a house overlooking the village green where you can watch cricket in the summer and make cakes for cricket tea. And we’ve even spotted plenty of houses in all the right shades of Farrow & Ball but with just enough left to do to make your mark (and maybe some money too)… But the big point is that there isn’t a house that meets ALL of those moving-to-the-dream-country-house criteria. Moving out of London is all about compromise! We had a list as long as our arm of things we were looking for and what we ended up with is a far cry from that piece of paper. But if we’d stuck to our list we’d have waited another ten years and needed a lottery win to fund it. And in the meantime our son would have still been scooting up Putney high street, dodging traffic. So my other piece of advice is to throw out your list of must-haves and go with your heart. Choose the house that makes your heart sing, no matter what the colour of the walls.
Our biggest surprise moving out of London has been the opportunity for work and new business. Even though we’re only 45 minutes from London, we’re in a desert when it comes to an exciting food, and culture scene. So if you’ve always dreamed of running your own business, opening a studio, doing something creative, then Surrey could be just the place for you! There are opportunities aplenty for new businesses, and that’s what’s incredibly exciting about this area.
In our case, we set up Cupsmith, our coffee roasting business, when we couldn’t find a deli or shop selling really good coffee to make at home every day. And as much as we really missed the brilliant London coffee shop scene, what we craved now was that heavenly first cup of coffee in the morning, sitting at the country-kitchen table we’d dreamed of for so long. So Cupsmith was born. We now sell online – with regular orders being sent off as far as the Isle of Mull and the Scilly Isles - and in retailers throughout the area.
My husband has finally given up his commute to London. We wear wellies, drink coffee, watch the clouds go by and thank our lucky stars we found life after London.
My top 10 tips for moving to the countryside
Join us for our second charity Book Swap in aid of Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care on Wednesday 27th April 2016!
All you need to do is bring along 5 books (or more) that you're happy to give away, and then swap away! It's a great opportunity to enjoy a cup of coffee, chat about books and leave with an armful of new reads for the summer. It costs £5 to take part, with all money going to Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care. We'll be serving freshly roasted Cupsmith coffee throughout the morning, and there is no charge for this. The book swap is open 9.30am-11.30am so please pop in whenever suits you.
Our first book swap was hugely popular, so do join us for this second one!
The event is being held in a beautiful barn in Bentley (directions below), and as well as the book swap you'll be able to browse the lovely furniture and interiors items for sale.
Cupsmith is delighted to be raising money for Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice again, and as well as these regular events we hold, we also support the charity by providing all the coffee for their coffee shop for free. This means more of the money raised from the coffee shop can go towards the vital work the charity does.
Directions to venue:
The Barn, Perryland, Bentley GU10 5JJ
Leave the A31 at The Bull Inn, go up the sharp hill, 1/4 mile to the crossroads and turn left. You will see the house in front of you - a square house with red brick farm buildings either side. The Barn is opposite the house, please park in the field in front.
We’re delighted to announce that we are now supporting the wonderful work of
Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care. We are supplying all the coffee for the coffee shop at the hospice for free, so that the every time a cup of coffee is sold in
the shop, more of the money goes towards to the hospice and the vital service
and work they do. The coffee shop is used by patients, staff and visitors and we
can’t think of a better cause for us to support.
We will also continue to run our popular Cupsmith Book Swaps in aid of the
charity. To find out more about these Book Swaps, and dates for the next ones,
please contact Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01252 712630.
About Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care
Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care provides supportive and end of life care for adult patients and families living with cancer, or another serious progressive illness, in West Surrey and North East Hampshire. Every day they support over 250 patients and relatives - in their own homes, in the community, at the Hospice in Farnham and at the Beacon Centre in Guildford, through medical and nursing care, therapies, counselling, social work advice and practical support. All of their services are provided free of charge to patients and families, but as the NHS/Government only covers 20% of their costs, they have to raise over £20,000 a day to be able to do this, and therefore rely heavily on the support and generosity of the local community. One thing that remains constant is their commitment to compassionate care and support...because every day is precious.
Fancy coming to see us for a cup of coffee? From this weekend our Cupsmith coffee roastery will generally be open on the first Saturday of every month between 9.30am and 11am (please see list of dates below for exceptions).
Come and join us for a cup of coffee, to watch some coffee roasting in action and stock up on freshly roasted beans.
The next open mornings will be:
Saturday 5th March, 9.30am-11am
NB: Saturday 2nd April - CLOSED FOR EASTER HOLIDAYS
Saturday 7th May, 9.30am-11am
Saturday 4th June, 9.30am-11am
Saturday 2nd July, 9.30am-11am
Saturday 6th August, 9.30am-11am
If you don't know where we are and would like precise directions, pop us an email to email@example.com.
We look forward to seeing you on a Saturday morning soon!
We're delighted to have teamed up with the ever-stylish Thornback & Peel to offer some really lovely gift boxes.
Our gift boxes literally flew off the shelves at Christmas and we've had some wonderful feedback from people who received them as presents. So we've decided to launch some new ones, perfect for Mothers' Day, Fathers' Day, Easter and birthdays. Or just to say 'thankyou'.
Have a peek at our selection here and if you don't find quite what you're after, get in touch and we'll tailor make a box for you.