Federal Café and Bar

How Federal became one of the best brunch spots in Manchester (2 minute read).

Manchester, UK


Why did you decide to open a coffee shop?

This is maybe not what you want to hear, but the truth is that I had no plans to open a coffee shop! I wanted a business that gave me extra cash so I could skydive around the world without touching my income from managing hotels. My family business is restaurants so it was only natural that I edged towards hospitality. Then I visited Tamper in Sheffield and it inspired me to get into coffee and brunch.

Can you pinpoint a defining moment when the dream turned into a reality?

Yes I can! There were actually 2 moments that I have in my memory. The day that I walked past the building where Federal is now and I decided to go in and ask the owner if she wanted to sell the lease. She immediately said yes and I just knew I’d get it.

Is the reality reflective of those early dreams?

In some ways it is even better that the early dreams. We are now established as one of the best brunch spots in Manchester, and that is amazing given the quality of other places around us. But the amount of work is enormous and just doesn’t stop, so everyone that is thinking of opening a coffee shop should take that into consideration. It’s very hard work. Nevertheless, it’s great to be able to say to people I own Federal!

How do you keep your team engaged and motivated?

I try and communicate with the staff working with me as much as possible. Either in our monthly staff meetings followed by our team-building nights out or during the shifts on a daily basis. I also don’t ask anyone to do anything that I am not prepared to do myself, so it’s not strange to see me doing KP shifts at the weekend.

How do you keep yourself motivated now that the business is up-and-running?

I am always trying to improve stuff - the service, the food and the working conditions of the staff. A coffee shop is never a finished article and there is always stuff to do, I love that feeling.

How did Ozone get involved?

Ozone was introduced to us by a friend and after going to London to see the roastery and trying the coffee, we never looked back! They are great people to work with and the relationship only gets stronger with time.

What are your biggest challenges?

At the moment the biggest challenge is the size of our café. We only have 50 square meters in total and to serve in excess of 1500 people every week it is pretty demanding on our small space.