Workhouse coffee was started by people wanting to do something specific in/with coffee with no financial frame of reference, only ideals such as 'let's make really nice coffee'. At the cornerstones of the business model were quite a number of very specific ethics. Two of which were experimentation and involving people in the coffee experience, making overt and accessible the process of building your drinks.
This is why nearly 10 years ago we opened a coffee house with the bar sideways and an open section on bar so you could see everything that was going on and get involved. It may not sound a big deal but we are always looknig for incremental ways that we can make your experience of visiting us more involved and you more engaged. We think ideally dropping in to visit us should be as relaxing and / or more enjoyable than making coffee in your own kitchen.
Today we have gone one step further with the King Street store refit bringing the whole espresso section out into service area. We are extremely lucky to be able to bring what are probably the best coffees in the world and this is just another attempt to involve customers in the whole process and share.
In the space we have separating the food section and the coffee doesn't really work, we refuse to put cattle signs everywhere so it will be a little confusing at first "do I go here? Order there?". Bear with us, as time passes people learn the routines and new people will learn from them. We know exactly from data this will cost us sales. We know a significant amount of just passing folk will see the clog of people and go "Meh lets not bother next place".
The experimentation is critical, you will regularly see machines or grinders changed in or out or the crew doing something different to last time you came in. Scientific experimentation (which is what we do) is, to some degree for us, the only way forward. There is no model for this so we will continue to work hard, observe results and do better at what we do.