Meet Pier Road Coffee & Art
How It All Began
I have been a photographer professionally since 1998, exhibiting and selling my work all around the world. As well as working in sixth form colleges either teaching film and photography or as a manager of several departments such as Art, Catering and many others.
Having seen various venues I exhibited in show artwork as an “add on” I thought it would be an excellent idea to make the concept of an art gallery with coffee. So the business runs as 50% art gallery and 50% coffee shop.
The idea had been with me for several years but after becoming disillusioned with education and all the usual long hours and added stress thought it was time to move into the dream job.
The gallery over four and half years has developed in many ways, and most of them unexpected such as award winning, the sense of community that’s been achieved, the incredible array of talent we attract and the fact we now work with over 250 artists.
Our Services / Practices
The gallery works for 11 months of the year by continually changing the exhibitions. The first day of each of those months sees the arrival of a new body of work either from the 20 resident artists, returning artists or brand new artists who start their journey with us. It’s rare for artists to exhibit only once with us.
The idea is that with monthly exhibitions it pushes some artists to keep working, and also others to find space as soon as a project is complete, although we do often have a waiting list we try to fit in artists that compliment each other, and rarely try to have too much of the same mediums.
We provide an exhibition space that allows professional artists, amateurs, part-time artists, students or hobbyists to exhibit. We nurture new talent and help them to advance whilst enabling professional artists to increase their profile and the gallery.
We send work out all over the world with orders coming in from New Zealand, Mexico, Italy and America.
The gallery also being a coffee shop provides a good space for artists and customers to meet to view works and enjoy the surroundings . We also work with a range of local businesses such as cake bakers, bakers, and also have independent food sections that provide us with home made food for sale.
What Makes Us Different
The majority of customers both regulars and new ones always comment that we are quite unique by having an exact split between both the art and the hospitality side of the business.
As an art gallery we have tried to break down the barriers of conventional galleries making it a pleasant experience where the essence is for customers to look around and enjoy the work but never feel pressured to buy but also feel comfortable to come in.
The fact that you can sit and have a coffee and locally made cake whilst looking at the artwork or even chat to an artist who may have popped in adds to the overall experience.
We also have a podcast for the gallery where different episodes capture aspects of the gallery and what’s happening.
Our Ethics & Materials
As a business we try do help the environment as much as possible. We are part of the local refill water scheme, where anyone can come in and have their water bottled filled from the tap for free.
The majority of packing that comes in is then used to send out parcels, enabling us to constantly use what we have. Locals that purchase larger pieces of work especially are encouraged to bring back the bubblewrap so that we can reuse.
We stock tea from a Brighton Company called Hoogly who use biodegradable teabags in their production. A percentage of our coffee pods are given to a local lady who takes them home to use the coffee granules for her garden.
We have several artists who also upcycle and recycle in their work such as metals and woods.
Edie Bees produces reusable/washable make-up removal pads to reduce the amount of wipes that people purchase. She also makes sandwich wraps and pouches to help reduce the use of cling film and other wrapping products.
Artists are trying to reduce the use of plastic covers for cards, by not supplying them or if they do they are biodegradable.
We offer a 10p discount on take away coffees for those that bring in their own travel mugs.
The gallery promotes the just a card campaign that tries to encourage visitors to purchase a card when they visit as simply one card purchase can keep both the gallery and the artist going. If every visitor/ follower on social media did this it would make a huge difference.
*This blog post is provided by the business owner featured – the views and opinions expressed on this blog are not our own.