In 1999 the predecessors to Cinnamon Café “Cha” (a tea-shop concept owned and operated by Unilever, as part of the Lipton’s brand had been operating in Windsor for a couple of years. The company's mission was to “Paint the World Yellow”. Its mission statement was “Holistic Duality”! Yes it was that one strap line and the thought process that went with it, that finally moved me away from large corporations and their need to fill the world with BS. At this point I had spent 20 plus years working in various corporate environments, and decided it was time for a change. So following a short foray into tea shops States-side, I returned to England looking for something to occupy my time.
At this same moment, an old friend, well actually an old friend of an ex fiancé was looking for something to do. As he was at that time in the same physical shape as me, “TFB” or “Two Fat Bast**ds” was born, and we immediately started looking for a project.
As fate would have it I found myself in Windsor one day, looking at the “Cha Teashop” wondering how and why it was still surviving, and amazed that in the quintessential British town of Windsor, most traditional British café food was not available. The Coffee was mediocre at best, the sandwich offers all came in the form of Panini, biscuits were biscotti, and try and get a bacon sandwich or jacket potato after midday! It appeared that we had all turned into faux Italian or French consumers. Even scones and cream teas were difficult to come by, and for those that were available, you needed a mortgage to buy one.
So a couple of phone calls later, and a lot of favour recalling, I managed to secure the open passageway in the Windsor Royal Station that was “Cha”.
By late 2001 with a great deal of time effort and hours by a lot of people, (Geoff, Giles, Elaine, Cas, and Dan - to name just a few), “Cinnamon Café” opened to the public. Given my dislike of mission statements we came up with a simple promise.
“To deliver the best possible coffee, and food, at the best value, that is sustainable, with genuine local service”.
This still remains the goal today and although we may not always achieve it, we try with all our heart and passion to get there.
That’s as close as a Yorkshire man will get to soppy!
Eeh bar gum..