10 QUESTIONS WITH LEE WILDRIDGE, FOUNDER OF HENRY’S COFFEE BAR
Lee Wildridge set up Henry’s Coffee Bar, named after his son, in 2010. Henry’s is taking London’s coffee industry by storm. Lee’s passion for coffee and his desire to provide the best service (and coffee) possible are evident. His face lights up just talking about coffee.
Henry’s Coffee Bar serves coffee from ‘bespoke mobile coffee vans set up in a number of different ways to suit the client or event.’ All the vans have solar panels on the roof and you can see that, wherever possible, everything they source is organic and fairtrade.
Lee, still in his early 30s, is an inspiring entrepreneur and has lots of ideas for developing Henry’s in the future. Keep an eye on this company. It’s going places.
Make sure you check out Henry’s van in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. I’ll be doing a post on it in the coming weeks to remind you.
1. If you had to describe Henry’s Coffee Bar in one word what would it be?
2. What’s your favourite part of the job?
Interacting with people and tailoring the coffee I serve according to each individual’s preferences.
3. When did you start liking coffee?
Back in 1999, while backpacking across Australia. The coffee I had in Melbourne was the best I’d ever had.
4. What advice would you give to anyone with a business idea?
Be prepared to work 7 days a week and be prepared for sacrifice. It takes a lot of hard work to set up a business and you have to be 100% committed. Go hard or go home.
5. How did you come up with the idea of setting up the business?
I used to work in surveillance in London for a few years and I found that when I was on the move, I would go out of my way to find a good coffee shop. I wasn’t so fond of the coffee at the larger chains. I realized that there were gaps in the market and I wanted to get involved.
6. Opinion on instant in a word?
7. What advice would you give to your 18 year old self?
I’m not sure I would give any. I have made many mistakes in my life and I have learnt from them and come out stronger. However, when my son turns 18, I’ll be sure to tell him about my mistakes so he might not make the same ones!
8. Who do you most admire?
My Dad. He’s always been there for me, anytime, anywhere.
9. How do you take your coffee?
I like a double macchiato.
10. Rolling Stones or the Beatles?
To be honest I am not too keen on either. I would say my biggest musical influence has been early King’s of Leon. Currently, I’m listening to the Black Keys a lot.