Me and my husband, we’re like Jack Sprat and his wife … he only drinks coffee and I only drink tea. One of our favourite pit stops in the city is Bould Brothers Coffee and now that they’ve just opened their second cafe, I think it’s high time I told their story. So I went to meet Max, drink tea and find out how these brothers got into the coffee business.
Just 13 months apart in age, Alex and Max grew up in Chester and both went to Leeds University. In fact, it was at the uni Open Day that they came across a pop up stall serving stunning coffee with different flavour profiles. The brothers were hooked and determined to recreate this amazing coffee. That summer, they had the opportunity to do exactly that as they completely turned around the coffee offering and fortunes of a sandwich shop in Chester. The duo continued to hone their barista skills during uni holidays and Max went on to work at a high end coffee shop in Leeds, all the while building up contacts within the world of coffee.
Once they’d both graduated, Alex and Max headed to London and corporate jobs, eventually deciding to merge their business experience with their coffee know how to start up a really special coffee shop, a social, buzzy place where they could create a high quality experience that’s valuable beyond just the drink. “Even if they can only pop in briefly, we want people to feel that they’ve had a five minute luxury mini-break” Max tells me.
That ambition and ethos means the Bould Brothers don’t cut corners. Their bespoke, single origin house coffee is roasted by Colonna Coffee. The coffee menu changes every four months as the seasons change, with guest coffees sourced from the UK and Europe. A range of six teas includes black, green and white tea as well as fruit infusions. Milk is organic and textured to 60 degrees to break down sugars and fats, making it sweet and creamy. And our hard Cambridge water is filtered and purified through their eco friendly system then optimally remineralised to extract the best flavour from tea and coffee.
The simple but delicious food selection includes croissants, sandwiches, cakes and stunning glossy tartlets made by a pastry chef who honed her skills at a Michelin starred restaurant in France.
Alex and Max opened their first tiny coffee shop opposite The Round Church. They worked hard to refit the space and opened on New Year’s Eve 2016 with just the two of them working seven days a week. From the start, the business surpassed their expectations and it wasn’t long before they were able to start building a team around them. This small but perfectly formed cafe soon attracted press interest too … they’ve been featured in Vogue and Conde Nast Traveller Magazine, have won many plaudits and have been shortlisted as a finalist in the Small-Mid Enterprise Business Awards.
In December 2019, Alex and Max opened their second cafe at the other end of town, on Regent Street. It’s a larger space which they have renovated stylishly … you’ll find comfortable seating upholstered in gorgeous fabrics, statement lighting, modern art on the walls and serving bars designed by them and custom made from an unusual grained granite. The space at the front of the cafe is light and bright with tables and window seating so you can watch the world go by while the garden room at the back has a more classic look and feel with marble flooring and a circular communal table.
The Bould Brothers have come a long way in just three years and have created two really special havens for the city’s tea and coffee lovers. I can’t wait to see what they do next!
16 Round Church Street, CB5 and 88 Regent Street, CB2