a decent conversation with Harvey's Coffee House.

a decent conversation with Harvey's Coffee House.

Harvey's Coffee House in Cambridge has a real homely feel to it, serving up 'coffee, cake and conversation.'
All of which they do very well. We sat down with owner Mike about the story behind Harvey's,
and the great work he's doing with compostable packaging for Cambridgeshire. 


Hey! Can you please tell us a bit about Harvey’s Coffee House, and what inspired you to start? 

Hello. I guess when you work in coffee for a decade, you start to have some thoughts about if opening your own coffee shop is something for you. I’ve supported a few start ups and helped independents grow into thriving businesses so I felt reasonably confident that with a vision of my own, I could create a space which I would love to visit as a customer and would love to work in as a team member. 

Then the covid lockdowns happened and we had too much time to walk around, luckily for my friend and I, we had Cambridge as our playground. So as we walked the less busy streets of the city we realised how few coffee spots there were in the student areas. 

We stumbled across a storage building that looked promising and spoke with the landlords. They are a Cambridge University College, who couldn’t offer us that space but had this wonderful other space round the corner. After visiting it, I fell in love with its potential and the rest is history. 

We love that you use decent packaging, what’s your favourite thing about working with decent packaging? 

I discovered decent packaging at the London Coffee Festival, not only was it a great day out, but also I was so impressed with the waste disposal system decent had organised with the event. I personally have struggled with arranging a similar system at my coffee shop because of my location in the country. Hopefully soon more options will be come available and then I can ensure the packaging is brought to the right processing facility. 

Why did you decide to create custom Hot Cups and how was the process with decent? 

I wanted branded cups because my coffee shop is hidden away off the highstreet. I wanted eye catching cups to encourage potential customers to research my shop, and for regular customers to spot my cups in peoples hands to make them want to get their coffee for the day. 

What do you think is key for creating a loyal customer base and a great neighbourhood local cafe? 

I think the key is building back communities. I have worked in too many places where its all about volume and transitions. They are not designed to encourage dialogue, and management is not incentivising staff to build knowledge of their community. My moto is coffee, cake and conversation. I want my coffee shop to humm with discussion, atmosphere and stories. I starts with the team and becomes infectious amounts our guests.

For someone visiting your spot for the first time, what’s something they must try from your menu? 

I think for the coffee drinkers its either our filter combo, or one of our cold brews when its hot. If you are up for experimenting then definitely our Iced Mango Matcha Latte, its tropical and delicious. Our most popular cake is a Banana Biscoff cake, definitely worth the calories. 

What’s one particular thing about Cambridge that you love? 

That Cambridge is a 50 minute train ride away and is a lot less intense and stressful than London. Lol.


Ha ha! Anything in particular in London you enjoy? 

I guess I do love to visit a very impressive board game cafe in London called the Bad Moon Cafe. Its a fantastic space south of the river, you can spend the whole day there having fun with friends and meeting new people in a casual setting. 

Do you have anything exciting in the pipeline for Harvey’s?

We are constantly tinkering with small improvements, which I love because every time our guests return from their holidays or time away something has changed or improved. Notably I want to work closely with the university and surrounding institutions to get the compostable packaging in our area responsibly recycled in the facilities we have in Cambridgeshire. Sadly it is a bureaucratic head scratcher. 

Most excitingly we are looking for an ideal second location in Cambridge, so keep your eyes on our social media for news on that. 

Check out Harvey's Coffee House on Instagram here.

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