Leeds’ artisan coffee scene is certainly booming, with another new addition to check out…
The Union Coffee House has only just opened in its new home on Great George Street, but there’s already a lot to love about it. It’s an independent coffee house, serving up quality brews to help you ease your way into the day, but there’s a lot more to it, as we found out.
It’s the brainchild of Vik Perrett and Chris Jackson, a husband and wife team who share a passion for coffee, vintage chic and the community. “I began thinking seriously about doing something like this in October 2015,” Vik told us. “I had been a teacher for ten years and I was ready for a new challenge, but wanted to continue working with sections of the community, such as charities and young people. So I created a fusion of our passion for coffee and our love for vintage furnishings, with a drive to collaborate with charitable organisations in the community to be as ethical, sustainable and local as possible in everything we do.”
And so they set up a coffee shop. Just like a home, it reflects its owners. Vik is a big fan of literature, so the counter is made up of the books she loves to read, and further down the store, you’ll find a collection of records, because Chris is a proper vinyl geek – play it on their in-house record player or buy it to take home, the choice is yours. It really is a ‘union’ and not just because Vik and Chris have come together to create it. They’ve teamed up with local independents, local charities and even local artists to make the space unique.
It’s kitted out in vintage style and everything you see, from the seats to the art, is available to buy, so it’s a shop of curiosities too. The fact you can walk out with the furniture means that the already eclectic decor will always be changing – and if you take home any of the upcycled beauties supplied by local charity St Luke’s Cares, you’ll have the added feel good of knowing that all the money goes straight to them.
There’s a real focus on local, ethically sourced ingredients here. The coffee comes from the ever-popular North Star Coffee Roasters, so you know you’re in for a good brew right from the start. They’re meticulous about how it’s made, to ensure you get a consistently delicious cup of coffee every time, as Vik explained, “What makes our coffee great is that we carefully calibrate our coffee machine and grinders a number of times a day in order to make sure that the taste remains consistent and to make sure that our customers are getting the benefit of the full flavour of the coffee in every sip.”
It’s not just the coffee that makes The Union Coffee House special though. They have a menu of homemade favourites, taking you from breakfast through to dinner. Their ‘Stoups’, a cross between a soup and a stew, are already proving popular, and it’s no wonder with these cold winter days – but they also have a joint of meat cooking every morning, ready for proper home cooked sarnies, served in a ciabatta with chutney or apple sauce.
You won’t be disappointed if you have a sweet tooth, either. Their cakes are made by Bake My Day, offering the likes of lemon drizzle cake, salted caramel brownies and gluten-free chocolate and banana loaf – yum!
And we’re not done yet. On top of the coffee, the food and the ‘for sale’ ethos, The Union Coffee House will also be holding a medley of unmissable events in the New Year, with everything from Caribbean pop-ups to vintage tea parties, nail bars, wine tastings, acoustic music nights and yoga – or you can book out the space for meetings and parties (they’re fully licensed, in case you were wondering, and they’ve got North Brewing Co. beers on tap).
The Union Coffee House just became one of the most unique and truly independent venues in Leeds – we love what they’re doing, and we think you will too, so get yourself down there and let us know what you think in the comments.
The Union Coffee House, 51 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BB.