Coffee culture is huge in Bristol and growing constantly, much like in the Southern Hemisphere according to Bristol Bears Rugby players and owners of Burra, Jake and Luke. We headed to their beautifully bright Redland spot to learn more over a frothy coffee and sweet treat, it would have been rude not to, they’re one of our community partners after all!
“Professional rugby and coffee go hand in hand, it’s part of the rugby culture. We don’t go to the pub often, typically we’d go to a coffee shop the morning before a game to relax, have breakfast and coffee.” explains Luke.
Having grown up in Australia and New Zealand both Luke and Jake wanted to bring the Southern Hemisphere's passion for coffee to the South West. “One thing that inspired us is the quality of customer service you receive over there, when you walk in the staff treat you like they know you,” explains Luke. Jake adds “This is what we wanted to achieve with Burra, we wanted to put emphasis on creating a place that is warm, somewhere you can walk in and feel welcome straight away. We wanted to build a menu that was true Aussie and Kiwi style. It’s all about using fresh, quality produce to create a substantial but light and tasty dish.”
Another important factor for Burra is sustainability, something both Jake and Luke are passionate about.
“We have a huge sustainability focus, before we make any decisions, we ask first how we can make this more sustainable, to ensure we are aligning with our vision. With every process we have sustainability in mind, from using local suppliers, to choosing more environmentally friendly options like oat milk over almond, to reducing food waste,” says Jake. Any food waste Burra does create goes to an environmental recycling solution company, GENeco, where they break down the food waste to produce a methane-rich biogas which is then used to generate renewable electricity.
The cafe opened six months ago in February 2021, and it seems opening during lockdown provided a silver lining for Luke and Jake. Whilst COVID restrictions meant they couldn’t allow customers inside, they first opened serving coffee from the hatch at the front of the shop.
“It gave us time to refurbish the inside of the café and be able to gradually open to having customers dine-in. Lockdown allowed us more time to figure out the process as we went along” explained Luke. “It was also a blessing to get to know and understand our customer base before we fully opened” Jake added.
“Customers have been super supportive; our visitors are around 70% regulars now. We have also got super lucky with our staff, they have really grasped the opportunity to be part of something new, fun, and exciting.” Jake explains.
Taking inspiration from Scandinavian style, the design of the cafe has created clean edges that still feel soft and comfortable, with a beautifully bespoke mural by Bristol based artist Kin-Dose, in the newly opened outdoor dining area. “We wanted to create an environment that felt comfortable whilst still being stylish and sharp,” Jake explains. “When we bought the café, the space was very dark, but we managed to overcome this by bringing in the natural light from the open windows towards the front and the back of the café, adding ambient lighting and lightening the flooring,” Luke adds.
We love the space we have created here, so much so, my wife and I just got married here in Burra last week. We had around 50 people and it couldn’t have gone better; we had a live band and everything!” Jake explains.
So, if you’re looking for your coffee fix in the Redland area this weekend, we highly recommend treating yourself to a seedy flapjack and flat white down at Burra!