12
June
2014
|
11:41
Europe/Amsterdam

Red BT Phone box coffee shop conversion

Summary

A new chain of coffee shops launches today in Brighton in two traditional red phone boxes.

 

 

Other boxes across the UK could be converted into mini shops,

shoeshine stands and cafés

A new chain of coffee shops launches today in Brighton in two traditional red phone boxes.

 

Red Box Coffee is the brainchild of local Brighton businessmen Eddie Ottewell and Steve Beeken. They have taken over the phone boxes under BT’s Adopt a Kiosk scheme where local charities and community groups can buy underused red phone boxes from the company for just £1.

The two red phone boxes near Brighton’s Pavilion Gardens have been transformed into self-contained units supplying locals and tourists with coffee and ice cream. These are among the array of uses of old phone boxes proposed by the Thinking Outside The Box Charitable Trust.Eddie Ottewell and Steve Beeken started the trust two years ago with the intention of bringing new life to phone boxes whose use had declined and to make positive contribution to the community.

They approached BT and proposed the idea of developing unused telephone boxes into retail units. Starting in their home city of Brighton the trust is working withcharity for the homeless charity Friends First, who help people to break cycles of homelessness, dependency and unemployment. Ten per cent from every Red Box Coffee shop purchase will go to Friends First.

Eddie Ottewell said: “Once we had BT’s support the project was under way. It has been a journey of many twists, turns and obstacles as this had not been done before. We are extremely proud of the project and thank BT and Brighton Council for their support from the outset.”

Thinking Outside The Box Charitable Trust has lodged planning applications with a number of local authorities around the UK for kiosks eligible for change of use under BT’s Adopt a Kiosk programme. Ideas for other kiosks include cafés, mini shops and shoeshine stands.

Mark Johnson, BT head of payphone operations, said: “The most fantastic thing about the Adopt a Kiosk scheme is how communities across the country have become involved. Red BT phone boxes have become a focal point for all sorts of activities of real value to the local community.”

Ashley Richardson, manager of the Red Box Coffee shops in Brighton, said: “The day to day running is such a magical thing - you would never dream that a coffee shop and ice creamery could pop out as it does. It feels like I'm having a moment in Dr Who or Harry Potter when I pull my work top and equipment out of the ether. It’s like Mary Poppin's bag!”


 

Notes to editors
 

About the Red Box Company

For more information, visit: www.redboxcompany.co.uk

Twitter: @redboxcoffee

Photo Stream via iCloud: https://www.icloud.com/photostream/#A6532ODWXghF9

For media enquires please contact Michael Richardson on 07786 492226 or email michael@penguin-marketing.co.uk