VIDEO: Call in for coffee at BT phonebox

New lease of life for unwanted kiosk


STRATFORD-UPON-AVON’S smallest and most unusual coffee shop opened its doors this week in a former telephone box on Waterside. The booth has been converted by a company called the Red Kiosk Company and has been leased by the Volkscafé, which has been selling teas and coffees from its coffee shop van in the town … for the past three years.

Measuring around 9ft tall and 3.4ft wide, it incorporates a coffee machine, coffee grinder, and even has its own water supply.

Cliff Eden, from Volkscafé, clearly believes he is on to a winner, having agreed to lease the box for the next ten years.

“We sell coffees at the market on Waterside every Sunday and one day we noticed that the phone had been taken out of the booth,” he said.

“We enquired with BT, who put us in touch with the Red Kiosk Company, who have been converting phone boxes across the country.

“I believe that this will work well for us, we usually do well on a Sunday and it’s a good spot as people walk along here to and from the theatre.

“We have had a good reaction from people, many are pleased that the phone box is being put to good use again, but mostly people are just amazed that we’ve managed to get everything in it.

“I’ve also noticed quite a few people taking photographs of it.

“I’ve seen the idea before, I know they’ve got one in Brighton and some in London, and people do all sorts with the space.

“I’ve heard of people selling ice cream out of them, shining shoes and I’ve even seen one that has been converted into a pub.

“The biggest challenge for us is storage, but luckily when we contacted the Red Kiosk Company they said we could use another phone box just around the corner to put our things in.

“I think it would be sad if these phone boxes were to leave our streets and that was one of the motivations for doing this.

“I think it is really good what the Red Kiosk Company are doing with the boxes, putting them to good use again.”

Cliff said the company was in the process of adding to its pool of staff to man the café and would set its opening hours once he had gauged demand at different times of the week.