When Jennifer and her partner Farshad decided to open their first ‘feelgood concept’ coffee shop in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, we’re pretty sure that their plans didn’t’ involve spending the first few months closed in a lockdown!
What a story! Their doors opened only 10 days before the main March Lockdown and being true to their sense of doing the right thing, they waited patiently to ensure the health of their clients and eventually and cautiously opened their doors, to now have become a roaring success in the months since they reopened. Community, creativity, communication and now CBD (since becoming one of the UK’s first retailers of Liift CBD Water) are becoming the cornerstones of their unique business model.
So what’s it all about? Tell us a little about your journey?
‘It all started when I was working in Chile’ says Jennifer. ‘I was working in Renewable Energy and in my free time, teaching English to the local people. So, was spending a lot of my tutorial time in coffee shops and thought how I’d like to create the perfect environment to chill, learn, inspire and connect with people. If we can communicate with people more easily, we can learn about their lives and culture, so we had the idea of a ‘language cafe’. We encourage language learners and teachers to utilise our various spaces to work and study, we want to encourage the understanding of different ways of thinking reflected and expressed in every language.’ Also, we both love relaxing in coffee shops and wanted to create our own to give people the space that would inspire them to make the most of the present moment.
And why Horizon?
‘Horizon is about endless possibilities, removing the walls of the mind and believing in better. It’s all about feeling open and opportunistic. Our music is chilled, the vibe is relaxed, we have local artists inspiring work on display on the walls, lots of natural wood everywhere and we have artisan cakes and healthy food for our customers.’
You certainly do get a relaxed vibe the minute you enter Horizon. Farshad and Jennifer greet everyone with warmth and hospitality. As you look around, there are people of all kinds enjoying a drink, a chat or a read of their growing library of language books. The environment does actually feel a little like you are in a far away place, perhaps the hipster district of Valparaiso! The blend of natural woods, eclectic chairs, local art and a few cactus reminds you that sometimes its important to stop, take a moment and nurture the spirit (perhaps with a Liift, a coffee and a cake!)
Why is wellbeing an important part of your life and business?
‘Wellbeing is really important. I think it all stems from the mind and then the body follows the mind. Your state of mind reflects in your face, health, even your posture. If you have a healthy and positive outlook on life, what may be perceived as bad news when it comes, can more easily be turned into something more positive.’ Jennifer continues ‘I get much of my wellbeing from activity, as I practice the Brazilian martial art, Capoeira. That has become my wellness practice and that practice has become my healer. I love to move, watch, learn and push my capabilities, for me its like a compact version of the world, whilst also encompassing life. I apply the methods it encourages, try and fail, try again, explore, learn and change. Very often it’s the ability to change that brings us the greatest success’
So why Liift CBD Water?
‘I’m a believer in the benefits of CBD, first trying it in Chile as a recommendation from a friend for an aching knee and bad neck. Well, what can I say, the pain relief was incredible and I had the best nights sleep ever! So once we were able to open the coffee shop, working with a CBD brand was high on my list of things to do.
I wanted to sell a high quality brand and was doing my research, when one day I noticed whilst cleaning, that this cool silver bottle had been left on a table by a customer. I loved the bottle, read the label and visited the website, it was what I had been looking for!
The vibe of the brand fits really well with our perceptions of wellbeing, the CBD guide really helped us understand more about the health benefits and we wanted it on our shelves.’
And how’s it going?
‘Really well actually. In the first 6 weeks, we have placed 6 orders! The bottle fits in well with our environment, it’s actually like it was was designed to be here, really calming. Customers are drawn to the look of it and are for the most part quite aware of the healthy aspects and uses of CBD. A lot of our regulars have come in specifically for a Liift CBD Water after their first purchase, which tells me they’re enjoying the benefits!
We too are both huge fans of the flavours and the wellness aspects that we feel Liift brings. Farshad is still deciding which one he likes the best. My favourite I think, is Berries & Cardamom, but I tend to choose a flavour, based on a colour, based on my mood. It works for me!’
Jennifer Porter and Farshad Jamali are the owners of Horizon Coffee in Birmingham’s Historic Jewellery Quarter.
In the area? Swing by and enjoy the relaxed vibe, chilled beats and a drink.. Time to choose YOUR favourite!