Small Business Saturday Blog

Nobody's fool

Friday, October 27, 2023 at 09:44

Bob and Vanessa McCulloch always dreamed of doing something that would have a huge local impact, while celebrating their love of great coffee, delicious food, music and the arts.
Tom Foolery Coffee Company, which they opened in 2014, combines all of these passions. The ethos has always been to bring the best in locally sourced food and drink with a warm welcome. They serve their own blend of coffee – Fools Gold – developed in partnership with local suppliers Horsham Roasters, in their vibrant shop overlooking the River Adur.
Family friendly, dog friendly, and supportive of people working from home with free Wi-Fi, Tom Foolery has always had deep roots in the community. It is a core supporter of local events and a key element of the annual Adur Arts Trail and Adur Wordfest. They have provided pop-up restaurant space for start-ups, and have a rolling programme of local art exhibitions, as well as hosting various speakers, shows and comedy nights. They are also part of the national Chatty Café scheme, providing opportunities to socialise in a friendly environment for those who may not always have the chance.
Like many hospitality businesses, Tom Foolery had to adapt and pivot a number of times in order to navigate through the Covid years. After closing during the initial lock down, they came up with a plan to build new counters at the front of the shop – taking advantage of their bi-fold doors which fully open the frontage – and developed a brand new ‘street food’ takeaway menu, becoming a lively presence on the high street with their festival stall approach. As restrictions eased, they developed a branded retail offer, ranging from T-shirts to homemade jams and sauces, to help cover the 30% reduction in available floorspace due to social distancing.
The subsequent years have seen Tom Foolery tackle the Cost of Living and energy crises head on. Investment in energy-efficient high-speed ovens for front and back of house has enabled them to significantly reduce their energy usage, while their community focus has seen them redevelop the menu to offer more affordable options whilst maintaining the high quality they are known for.
Never ones to stand still, recent projects have included the introduction of a booking system, prosecco brunches and a range of artisan cocktails, all of which just add to the fun!
Tom Foolery has been working with American Express since it opened and appreciates the brand’s understanding and support of small businesses. It has taken part in the various Amex marketing initiatives, such as Shop Small with its Cardmember cashback offer, which has proven popular with customers.
Whether you’re popping by for breakfast, brunch or just a fabulous cup of coffee and a cake, Bob and Vanessa always aim to make a big impression for a small business. This has led to invaluable support from their community since they opened in 2014: they are clearly no fools!
Visit Tom Foolery at 6 High Street, Shoreham-by-Sea BN43 5DA or online here. Click here to find out more about the American Express Shop Small campaign.


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