I’ve just enrolled in an evening class in Digital Photography at City College Brighton – exciting times. My classes are over on Pelham Street and on Monday I was walking back from enrollment when I noticed a brand new ‘White Company’ style coffee shop had popped up on the corner – Coffeetzar.
I took a few snaps outside and through the window and before long I found myself tempted inside and chatting away to the friendly waitress Tina.
Coffeetzar has only been open one week and it’s just finding its way in the city, trying to carve itself a niche to stand out amongst the other 400-or-so food joints that Brighton has to offer. Amongst the hustle and bustle of the Brighton’s vibrant lanes, it feels like a tranquil haven. Hispanic beats ooze out the door and the front of the shop is a brilliant little sun trap.
I was also lucky to bump into the owner Idon that day and he kindly sat down with me for a coffee and a chat about his new venture. Here’s what I found out…
Idon is half Greek and his main job is a trouble-shooter for ailing restaurant businesses – so he should be well equipped to make Coffeetzar a success. He told me his aim with Coffeetzar is to “bring a little of the Med to Brighton”. Well, the weather was certainly on his side on Monday and it’s looking set to continue the rest of the week – yes!
Idon’s girlfriend is the interior designer behind the beautiful shop and the upcoming, more extensive menu is going to be inspired by his Greek roots. Traditional Greek salads and wraps with the best halloumi and feta cheeses will be the shop’s signature and if you check back in a month or so I’ll make sure I pop down and give you the scoop on it.
But whilst you’re waiting, there’s a fab selection of homemade, gluten-free and vegan-friendly cakes to feast on. On that point, isn’t it brilliant how many food spots are starting to cater for vegan and gluten-free diets – have to love Brighton in that respect.
Back to Coffeetzar, the shop’s best seller is a Salted Caramel Gluten-Free Brownie – £3 but the Honey Balls -£4.50 for 5 with walnuts, cinnamon, and warm Greek honey drizzled on top, are sold-out on a daily basis too. From a savory point of view, Idon recommends the Greek Spinach & Feta Cheese Pie – £4.50 as a must-try.
I really can’t wait to try the Greek pitas and salads that are coming next month, as ever since Papa Pitta went it’s left a gaping Greek whole in my belly that needs to be filled. Hopefully, Coffeetzar will be the spot to step up to this.
The coffee is made from Cuban coffee beans which is much smoother than Brazillian ones, I tried an espresso and it was seriously good stuff. Oh and the final piece of good news – students get a 10% discount – hurrah for going back to school.
The last thing to add is I want to urge readers to ditch their Starbucks run and pop into a local independent coffee shop like this one. Firstly, because unlike some of the big chain shops, these businesses pay their UK taxes, but also (as I saw on a recent Facebook meme) “when you buy from a popup or a small business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third holiday home. You are helping a Mum put food on the table, a little girl finally gets those dance lessons or helping a student pay for college.”
I’m planning to write a guide to independent coffee shops in Brighton, so if you have a favourite or somewhere that you think needs supporting, please drop me a comment below so I can check them out and get them in the guide. Thanks!
COST: £2.30 for a bottle of juice and £3.70 for a veggie focaccia