Boho Utopia is a creative café and positive lifestyle brand aimed to inspire, motivate and relax. Our mission is to create a comfortable, relaxing atmosphere that helps visitors find their inner-self and creates feel-good energy. We are offering a calm space where you can dedicate time to yourself to recuperate, whilst enjoying quality, locally sourced food and drink.
Whitney and Gina are the brains behind Boho Utopia, and with over 15 years combined experience in the coffee industry, watching the market grow and develop from the front line; we decided we wanted out of corporate coffee and wanted to take a huge leap and wanted to introduce coffee into OUR world.
Boho Utopia is a simple concept; we want people to take some time for themselves. We aren’t into the “triple espresso to go!” game, so our main focus is the environment we create for our customers. Coffee houses once labelled themselves as the “third place”, but unfortunately they have slowly started to lose their relaxing atmosphere and replaced with hustle and bustle, and that’s where we want to step in and save the day!
Set over 2 spaces, upon entrance you will be greeted with an abundance of handcrafted and handmade items from ourselves (and soon from other local artists!), such as tie dye t-shirts, dreamcatchers and jewellery boxes, all available to buy. There will be a mixed selection of armchairs, sofas and tables in the entrance area, aimed at people in larger groups or having a more social break. A bookcase filled with a variety of books, board games, art and craft materials will be accessible to all our customers, encouraging them to involve in activities with each other or away from social media… although we will have perfect selfie lighting! The walls will be adorned with frames filled with encouraging words, motivational messages, and general positivity (also available to buy)!
The “Utopia” area of our café will be in the second room, and customers will be asked to leave their shoes (and troubles) at the door. This will be a more dimly lit space, with rugs, cushions, beanbags and blankets being combined and styled to create the entire floor seating area, with a few small tables scattered for customers to put their drinks on. The walls and ceiling will be adorned with wall hangings, drapes, unicorns, mandalas and fairy lights, with dreamcatchers hanging from the ceiling, and candles lit around the room. The music played will be meditation style, relaxing music, and this is the area our customers will be encouraged to find themselves! We want you to take a couple of pictures of how magical our place is, (of course!) but then we want you to take some time away from the virtual world, and spend some time mindfully enjoying your surroundings.
Whitney is an experienced coffee master who can advise customers which brew and blend would be best suited to them, and being from Leeds she knows a thing or two about tea too! We are currently researching which beans, blends, brews and bags we are going to sell. Although we initially plan to have quite a limited menu, Gina is a passionate home cook who wants to develop and grow her cooking skills and knowledge with the business and continually improve what we have available. We are currently in discussion with a number of local suppliers as we are looking to use local independent businesses to supply our tea, coffee, bread and pastries. We plan to source most of our other ingredients from local markets and cash and carry’s and our vegan ingredients can be purchased from nearby supermarket Unicorn Grocery. Gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options will be available.
We have fallen in love with a property based in Withington, on Wilmslow Road. We are familiar with the area, being customers ourselves of Fuel café and Solomon’s Bar, both located within short walking distance, and are hoping to secure the lease on this property asap. We have adequate knowledge of the area, and are confident that we will blend in suitably and complement the neighbouring and adjacent businesses, with a number of them also being independently owned.
As well as offering customers a space to have a quick lunch break or social coffee break and a space to relax, unwind and take some time out, what really sets us apart from most coffee shops is that we are also offering a shopping experience with the handcrafted items we make ourselves. This means we can cater for all types of visitors; the girl in a hurry trying to find a last minute birthday present for her friend, the group of friends catching up over a game of scrabble, or the person wanting somewhere to have a quiet, cosy read on their own after work.
Our start-up costs have been estimated as follows;
- Rent and Deposit on property – £5000
- Dishwasher – £250
- Painting – £250
- General building/plumbing – £1000
- Air Conditioning – £500
- Fridge – £500
- Crockery – £300
- Till – £500
- Kitchen units and counters – £1000
- Furniture and furnishings – £1000
- Solicitor – £1000
- Safe – £200
- Starting stock (food and drink) – £500
Because there is an element of contingency with these costs, we have estimated our total start-up costs to be £15,000, allowing cover for any unexpected expenses that may occur.
Which is why we’re here! We have looked into the methods of funding this project, and once we started sharing our idea the ball got rolling and people began suggesting that they’d be happy to throw some money in to turn it into a reality. We also figured this a much more personal way, and like the idea of the reward scheme for people’s generosity a lot more than going to Mr. Banker asking for the money and started our business in debt.
We hope you’ve fallen head over heels for us, and we can’t wait to see you in Boho Utopia! Thank you, we love you!