Back in October we had the pleasure of meeting the Founder of Good Boy Coffee, Olivia Parker at her home in leafy Fulham..
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your business?
I've always worked in the food industry - studying at Ballymaloe Cookery School and Le Cordon Bleu in London. I've been a pastry chef, baker and food styling assistant before getting into the coffee industry. I have a speciality coffee shop in Turnham Green called Good Boy Coffee. It's a small, grab and go, dog-friendly coffee shop opposite Chiswick Common. Outside of work, I live in Fulham with my dog, Ezra, who gladly takes up most of my free time these days. My life mainly revolves around my shop, my dog, food, holidays and Netflix.
How did Good Boy Coffee start and what's the story behind the name?
It started from a frustration of not being able to find good speciality coffee in South West London. With my background in hospitality, I saw a gap in the market and decided to go with it. I wanted to create a place with great coffee but that was also very friendly, unpretentious and dog-friendly, because in case it's not obvious, I absolutely LOVE dogs.
Can you describe the atmosphere and sense of community at Good Boy Coffee?
It's very welcoming and personal. We love nothing more than getting to know our customers. For me, it's really satisfying to feel like we're part of a community, which has been very evident over lockdown. For some people coming to the shop is their only interaction with another person for the day. They're not just coming to get a coffee, they're coming to catch up, get out of the house or see a friendly face. We've seen customers get married, have babies, go through good times and bad, and it's nice to feel
like we've been part of their lives even if it's just for 5 minutes of their day.
What do you enjoy most about running the cafe?
Other than easy access to delicious coffee and a great team, seeing customers enjoying my coffee really makes it worthwhile. We're lucky that they're so lovely.
What advice would you give to someone starting up their own business?
Once you've figured out what you want to do, work in that industry for a while so you have a better understanding of what works and doesn't work. I did this for a few years before opening Good Boy and the experience was really valuable. It's obviously going to be hard work no matter what you do, which is why it's so important to choose something that you love..
Can you walk us through a day in your life?
My day starts early with being woken up by my handsome dog, Ezra. The best alarm clock ever! I make a coffee for the road and we head straight to the park on the way to Good Boy. From there it's dealing with the daily surprises of running your own business. Every day is different. Thankfully I have an awesome team which makes life easier! Then home to finish off admin before a workout and an evening walk with Ezra.
How do you make your clothes work for you and your busy lifestyle?
I'm either covered in coffee or mud by the end of the day so I'm usually looking for something stylish yet comfortable. I tend to stick with neutral/earthy tones so that I know my whole wardrobe at least vaguely matches!
What are your go-to wardrobe staples?
I have a pretty standard uniform that I wear every day and maybe change it up with a different jumper occasionally! Comfortable sneakers that I can walk all day in and don't mind getting a bit dirty, jeans, a white t-shirt, an army green shirt or jumper and a camel trench coat. I love coats and am always looking for another one to add to the collection.
If I wasn't running Good Boy Coffee... I've always loved interior design so either an interior designer or, and this is a wild card, own a pressure washing business. I could watch pressure washing videos for hours. Hopefully both can still be achieved!
My day isn't complete until... I've had a glass of red wine and a piece of dark chocolate.
On my Christmas list... I can never have enough winter coats!
My ideal breakfast... This is a very tough one as I love food and especially love breakfast BUT if I go out it's an oat flat white to start, followed by sweetcorn fritters, poached eggs and a side of bacon. If I stay in, it's almond yoghurt with berries, chia, nuts and various other toppings. I have this pretty much every morning.
Words to live by... F**k it.
My favourite London hangout... Borough Market. Good food, good coffee and especially
good people watching.
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