Bristol, United Kingdom (PressExposure) October 30, 2009 -- A Bristol-based chain of coffee houses has served up a surprise by being voted the best in the UK.
Coffee#1, which has 11 stores across Bristol and South Wales, claimed the top national prize at the Beverage Service Association's (BSA) BEV-E awards - the industry equivalent of the Oscars.
Judges, who rated all entrants for quality of beverage served, customer service, cleanliness, layout and ambience, were impressed by the "very good experience" offered at Coffee#1, also complementing the "friendly, professional service and well-trained staff".
Owner James Shapland, who gave up a successful career in the City to found Coffee#1 eight years ago, said: "This is a brilliant day not only for myself but for all our staff throughout Coffee#1 - especially our coffee trainer, Nancy, who has brought a fanatical devotion to ensuring our coffee is the best around.
"I've maintained from the very beginning that superb coffee in comfortable surroundings is the very essence of what Coffee#1 stands for, so to be recognised for both those things by such a prestigious prize is hugely satisfying."
Coffee#1 will formally receive their prize at a ceremony at Manchester United Football Club in November.
Since opening in 2001, Coffee#1 has developed a passionate following for the quality of its fairly traded coffee and organic milk.
Shapland is a regular visitor to coffee plantations around the world, most recently Costa Rica and India. This ensures the company maintains a strong relationship with its growers and affords complete traceability.