Matthew and Anabelle are the co-directors of new Shropshire Hills Coffee Roastery, Hundred House. With a wealth of experience in roasting coupled with a background in art and design, Hundred House brings a unique offering to local industry. We were fortunate to hear them share their passion for coffee with us at the AGM and caught up with them shortly after to find out more about their business.
Name: Matthew Wade and Anabelle de Gersigny
Occupation: Coffee Roastery – co-directors
In three words describe Hundred House:
Art and industry
How did Hundred House start? What is the Hundred House story?
Matt has been roasting coffee for about 18 years, always within speciality and working with very established to start up roasters. It’s of course been his dream to have his own roastery. Anabelle, who is the other half of the team, works in the arts and also wanted to set up a business outside of London that combined industry with art. So about two years ago we decided to make the move, then it took another year and half to be in a position to do so. Matt’s mother was from Bridgnorth and we both love the Shropshire Hills, so it was a natural fit. We fell upon the name Hundred House Coffee as it is something that is locally understood – the Hundred House was at one point the meeting place for communities (from weddings to town meetings etc.) Also, coffee roasting combines both of our passions in that we work creatively with the business and our approach. For example, a long term plan is to have artist and writer’s residencies running alongside the roastery. We also take a playful and experimental approach with our coffees, always on the look out for really interesting processes and unique flavours. We often partner with other creative entities, like the Royal College of Art or music venues and we work with baristas, producers, restaurants, cafes who really care about the detail and the art of making.
What is special about Hundred House Coffee?
We’re both Fine Art graduates and to bring that kind of resourcefulness and lateral thought to an industry like coffee makes what we produce, and how we produce it, different and exciting. Matt is very much an analogue roaster too, whilst yes we can use Apps to dictate a roast – Matt works really closely with the coffee and gets the absolute best from each roast. He’s been working like this for so long, it’s where the art lies and the fun.
What is our best-selling product? Why do you think this is?
Our coffees are always changing with each season and crop, so it’s hard to say. But more recently we had a wonderful honey processed Nicaragua – it was absolutely superb as an espresso and as a pour over or filter – sweet and fruity.
With all that has been achieved in your business so far, what are you most proud of?
We’ve only been trading since late 2016. It’s hard work, but we’re really proud to have taken that step.
How are you looking to grow your business in the next year?
We’re excited about new partnerships that we have coming up and looking forward to building these relationships with the people we supply
What one piece of equipment should we all own to ensure we make the best tasting Hundred House coffee at home?
A Kalita pour over or Chemex are great ways to make a decent coffee at home. We also really recommend the Aeropress.
Quick Fire Get To Know You Questions:
Favourite Colour? Green
Favourite Food? Dhal (Matt) and Japanese (Anabelle)
Favourite tipple? Sloe Gin
Favourite place to visit the Shropshire Hills? The pools at Cardingmill Valley for a summer swim and the Long Mynd.