Julie Hine has been waking up the town with her authentic coffee creations since November 2016 when she decided to open the Ground Hand Pulled Coffee Bar, based in Barnsley’s Digital Media Centre.
Julie’s passion to create the perfect percolation began back in the 1980s when in France on a school holiday. After savouring her very first barista style coffee produced using a traditional Italian hand pulled coffee machine, the experience fuelled an interest into all things coffee, which became an obsession and, more recently, the basis of a booming Barnsley business.
After spending much of her career working in the retail and telecoms sector, Julie decided it was ‘now or never’ and decided to launch a quest to become a master barista.
Using her savings Julie began scouring the internet to try and find a portable coffee cart which she planned to use to sell her own home-ground coffee recipes at a range of different events. When she was unable to find one which met her own specifications, undeterred, Julie called upon the services of a local carpenter to create her dream coffee cart, built to her own design.
A simple web search into the business support available to entrepreneurs in Barnsley led her to Launchpad, a specialist programme developed to provide free of charge advice to budding entrepreneurs and business owners within the Sheffield City Region and whilst she was waiting for her shiny new cart to arrive, she signed up to the programme.
Working closely with one of Launchpad’s dedicated business advisors, Julie attended a number of free workshops where she learned how to prepare a business plan, understand accounting and bookkeeping, as well as identifying what was needed to give her business the best possible start.
Today, Julie is the go-to coffee grinder for those working at the town’s Digital Media Centre, providing them with the fuel they need to get through the working week by using a range of carefully crafted formulas which she has meticulously researched and developed. Julie has also embraced technology to fuel her business, enabling customers to order their favourite drinks by text as they make their way into the centre.
Following the success she has enjoyed so far, she is already setting her sights on growing her business further and plans to expand her business into new locations across Barnsley.
Julie Hine said: “I can pinpoint the exact moment I fell in love with coffee. It was back in the 1980’s when I was in France and I saw my espresso being made on a traditional hand pulled coffee machine. It was made just the way it should be; with time, care and passion and the end result was like tasting something from another world. At the time running my own business seemed like a bit of pipe dream.
“I concentrated on my career and as my family grew up and became more independent, I felt that it was now or never. I can safely say that taking the plunge and running my own business was the best decision I have ever made.
“The support I have received from Launchpad has been invaluable to me. I have spent thirty years finding out pretty much all there is to know about making coffee, but when it came to running a business I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t fully appreciate how much you actually need to know when launching a new business. My business advisor, Ben Hawley, has helped to guide me through this journey. He advised me to take part in workshops and events, which proved to be invaluable and meeting other like-minded entrepreneurs helped to give me confidence in my idea. Although my business is still in the early stages, Launchpad is still supporting me and I can’t wait to see what the next six months bring.”
Ben Hawley, Business Advisor at Launchpad, said: “Entrepreneurs have a passion for the product or service they are providing through their business, a statement which has never been truer for Julie. She knew exactly what she wanted to offer her customers but didn’t know where to turn for help and support in regards to getting her business off the ground. Working with Launchpad has enabled Julie to gain invaluable business knowledge, confidence and the opportunity to turn her passion in to a commercial reality.
“Launchpad was created to help people who are thinking of launching their own business understand what’s involved with running a company and helping them to overcome barriers which prevents them from succeeding in business.”
Launchpad is a unique scheme which forms part of the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub. Funded by the European Union Regional Development Fund and delivered by local authorities within the Sheffield City Region and the Princes Trust, the programme provides free help and support to budding entrepreneurs in the Sheffield City Region who are thinking of starting their own business, or have started trading within the last two years.
For more information on the Launchpad programme and how it operates throughout the Sheffield City Region, contact the SCR Growth Hub Gateway on 03330 00 00 39 or send an email.