What’s Your Story? is a monthly series in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention.
Stoney Point is an independent coffee shop tucked away in central Brighton, selling speciality coffee and delicious homemade food . We spoke to Jess Davies, co-owner of Stoney Point, to find out more about him and the business.
How did Stoney Point come about?
It was a matter of good timing really. Mr Wolfe, the previous owner, was looking to move on so for us it was a chance to start up our own coffee shop in a location that was already accustomed to good coffee in the hope we would live up to its previous reputation.
Where does the name come from?
The name comes from an old folk song from the Appalachian Mountains. We love Old Time music and have dabbled with learning the banjo and fiddle in the past so we thought why not pick a name from one of the tunes we have learned. Totally coffee unrelated, but a good talking point.
How did you choose what produce to stock and sell?
When taking over the shop we decided to stick with Monmouth Coffee, as it tastes great, is reliable and not widely available in Brighton. For other items on our menu it’s really an on-going process, we are always open to new produce and it feels like we are steadily trying out new things here and there.
Taste definitely comes first; second is whether we can produce what we want ourselves, so for example, we make our own chilli jam for our sandwiches as it just tastes better than anything we have found so far. We like to produce as much of our produce ourselves as we are able, so we make all our own cakes as well. Third is supporting other small local businesses who can supply us with really good quality and interesting items.
What do you look for when visiting a coffee shop as a customer?
Down-to-earth staff. Good coffee.
Favourite thing about the job?
Working on the small details that might not be noticed at first glance but add to the overall experience in the shop; it’s not just about coffee but about coming to drink coffee somewhere that has had some love and thought put into it.
What’s your favourite music to listen to in the coffee shop?
It’s totally different every day so that is a hard one to answer. Nothing too ambient or moody; yesterday I was playing Joni Mitchell and today some Eek-A- Mouse. It really depends what’s going on in the shop that day.
Our connections with Brighton go back over twenty years now so it seemed like a good place to start and a place where independent coffee shops can thrive.
What are your future plans for Stoney Point?
We have no big surprise plans, as we have only been open as Stoney Point just over a year. We are finding that developing the shop and our ideas is quite an organic process so we will see where it takes us in the future, but for now it is important for us to stay small and independent as part of what we enjoy is being able to be fully involved in all the details of creating a pleasurable experience for our customers.