3 mins read

Over a Brew with… Norris and Knight

This week we had a bit more of a quick-fire chat with Norris and Knight owner Carlos. Having been open for over 8 years, Norris and Knight pride themselves on amazing coffee, amazing Spanish inspired food and a great hub in the community ????

This stylish little cafe oozes with sentimentality, it feels like you’re in a European sun trap as soon as you walk in. With a big focus on great coffee, Norris and Knight have been loyal customers of @volcano_cafe since their inception.

When did Norris and Knight start? 

Norris and Knight started around 8 years ago, it was my first ever project like this. Originally it was my myself and partner who started the business, however I have been running it on my own for the last 3 years or so now. 

When we first started, we were more of a breakfast spot, but over the years we’ve progressed into doing more toasties, small lunch dishes and amazing coffee. All our cakes are homemade and we make our pastries each day.’

Have you seen a change in the coffee landscape since Norris and Knight’s inception? 

‘We’ve always wanted to serve the best coffee, but I would say now people are really starting to expect much higher quality coffee compared to a few years ago. I think people are a lot more conscious about what they’re drinking.’ 

How did you find the property?

‘We definitely wanted the business to be in London, but we didn’t want to be in the center. We found it a lot more relaxed and less rushed out here.’ 

What roasters do you use? 

‘We use Volcano Coffee Works, we’ve been using them since day one. We have a great relationship with them and everyone says how nice the coffee is, so they must be doing something right!’ 

What were you doing before you started your own business? 

‘Beforehand I had always worked as a waiter, I did have some good coffee training. But since starting the business I’ve had a lot more coffee training and been able to train others.’ 

What have been some of the challenges you’ve faced? 

‘We’ve always been getting busier and busier until we were faced with Covid, from then it has been a little bit of a nightmare. It’s been difficult to recover from that. 

We were closed for the first 6 weeks, but we then followed the guidelines and remained open from then doing takeaway. The rules were changing constantly, so that was a challenge just keeping up with it!’

What kind of food do you serve?

‘We are currently serving toasties with Spanish orientated ingredients. It’s not fully Spanish yet, but we do have the deli where everything is from Spain – the wine, cheese, I could go on.’

How have you found it dealing with the everchanging prices?

‘It’s been very difficult, as one week something will be one price, then the next another. It’s a bit of a balancing act!’ 

What is the community like in the area? 

It’s great, there’s a few coffee shops and local businesses around which creates a great communal atmosphere.’ 

What’s your favorite part about owning your own coffee shop? 

‘Being able to speak to people and following conversations. To see customers being happy and enjoying what they’re eating/drinking is great.’ 

How did the name come about?

‘We were two partners, and we decided to use our two mothers’ maiden names.’ 

Has it been challenging with staffing in this current climate?

Yes, it’s been really difficult. We now look for both trained baristas and those who are untrained as we can train them up ourselves. It’s all about them enjoying the work they do and making sure they get on with our customers.’

What does the future of Norris and Knight look like? 

‘We’ll be carrying on as usual really, we have a great customer base and we ultimately want to keep making sure they’re happy. We will be looking at increasing the Spanish influence on the main menu, we hope to have every ingredient Spanish in the future.’ 

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