This is no different in their Sprucefield store (situated upstairs in Next) where I recently met with manager, David, for a chat and to talk about some of the exciting things he has planned. The first thing I noted was his enthusiasm and pride for his store. I've worked for large chains before and there is always a healthy dose of competitiveness. Ground Espresso is no different in this way but what is lovely to see that it is always about creating the best environment for their customer.
I chatted to David about Sprucefield and what sets it apart from other stores. Being located in a main commuting point between Belfast and Dublin (and many other parts of the country) Sprucefield can entertain shoppers and customers from all walks of life; and they fully embrace that diversity, there is no sense of exclusivity or hipsterism that you can get from some artisan coffee shops. We also discussed his plans for the store and the staff. He is planning on entering his team in to the Belfast marathon to raise money for the charity that Ground support in Honduras. Ground as a whole do a lot of charity work with the farms that they buy their coffee beans from and it's lovely to see the individual stores joining in the giving spirit.
But they don't just give to charity. David says that he is planning to offer a 10% discount on Mother's Day, exclusive to Sprucefield to any families coming in to celebrate. It's little touches like this that really make the customer feel special and really sets this store apart from others. In a company that is ever expanding and full of exciting, top secret, plans then that is something to be proud of.
Whilst we were there we were also introduced me to their new range of smoothies from Love Smoothies. An English brand who Ground have an exclusive deal to bring over to NI. We sampled four of the smoothies: strawberry split, berry-go-round, broccoli & the beast, and kale kick. Strawberry split and berry-go-round are your standard fruity smoothies which, although they are blended from frozen taste completely fresh and even have that pleasing seedy sensation that you get from berry based smoothies. The stars for me though were broccoli & the beast and kale kick. This could be because their sweetness comes from mangos and I am obsessed with mangos! In the broccoli & the beast you get a really clean and crisp flavour from the spinach, celery and broccoli. With the vibrantly green kale kick you get a much more savoury taste from the kale itself but it is equally as refreshing and still yummy. You can see why Ground have gone to such effort to get these over to NI. They are going to be amazingly popular in the spring and summer months.
I really enjoyed my afternoon in Sprucefield. I probably spent much longer chatting with David and Sarah (I can't drive long distances at the moment so she kindly chauffeured me!) than I should have. I love shopping in Lisburn and I thoroughly recommend heading down this Sunday to take advantage of that 10% discount and maybe one of their famous salted caramel brownies too!
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