MY PLANET LIVERPOOL VISITS
A LIVERPOOL COFFEE HOUSE
WITH A DIFFERENCE
Take a stroll past Liverpool Town Hall and onwards down the right hand side of Water Street towards the River Mersey and you will discover nestling at the lower street level of the historic Oriel Chambers building ‘A Small Fish In A Big Pond’.
The owner of this little Award-Winning gem is Cheryl Braham (pictured) and My Planet Liverpool asked her about her popular venue and how she came to set it up.
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO OPEN YOUR OWN COFFEE HOUSE?
I worked in Training and Development for several years and I used to enjoy sitting in a variety of coffee shops across the country while writing training programmes and I loved them. I had wanted to open an independent Coffee House of my own for some time and when the opportunity was right for me I started looking for a suitable venue.
A friend told me about the vacant Oriel Chambers venue and as soon as I got to view this place, with its quirky features and its location at the heart of one of our city’s most historic and beautiful streets (Water Street was one of the original seven streets of Liverpool), I knew it was just right for me.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE NAME ‘A SMALL FISH IN A BIG POND’ AND WAHT INSPIRED THE DESIGN OF YOUR COFFEE HOUSE?
It was actually my partner who came up with the name of the business after he heard a footballer say the phrase after a match. I liked the idea, as we are a small independent in a big city.
I was able to lay out the coffee house as I wanted and my thoughts were to create somewhere that was cosy and relaxing, where people could study, work, have meetings or just come in and enjoy some social time. This was the ideal place in which to do just that. The layout of the coffee house provides front and rear rooms, while its arched ceilings, original cast iron-doors and vintage furniture and rear room, complete with piano, all contribute to its charm.
WHEN DID YOU OPEN AND HOW WAS TRADE IN THE EARLY DAYS?
We first opened our doors in the summer of 2018 and quickly built up a regular array of customers from the nearby Business community who have become like friends to us. We also began attracting tourists from the Cruise ships that regularly arrive at the waterfront terminal during the season and also other visitors to Liverpool who would drop in on their walks around the city.
WHAT DELIGHTS DO YOU HAVE ON OFFER FOR CUSTOMERS?
We have delicious (don’t just take our word for this) handmade cakes, sandwiches, toasties and turmeric lattes, while our speciality teas, cakes, pastries, salads and wraps, each to enjoy inside or to take out, are very popular.
HOW HAS THE COVID PANDEMIC AND THE SUBSEQUENT LOCKDOWNS AFFECTED YOU?
Like most businesses, I had to close, which was very frustrating, as I felt that we had created a wonderful customer base and atmosphere here and obviously I was not sure what the future would hold. As I said earlier, a lot of our customers are local office workers and many people also come off the cruise ships, so obviously we are missing them. Thankfully, we are gradually seeing a return of our regulars and are already getting quite busy again. I so look forward to seeing everyone each day and cannot wait for the tourists to return too. With such a mix of locals and a variety of nationalities visiting us, I get to hear lots of interesting stories and chatting with our customers makes A Small Fish In A Big Pond such an enjoyable place to be.
HOW DID YOU FEEL TO RECEIVE THE TRAVELLERS CHOICE AWARD LAST YEAR?
The news came completely out of the blue. When I received the email about the award, which is based on the quality of the reviews a business receives, it was a wonderful surprise and gave us all
a great boost following the first lockdown. I thank everyone who placed a review based on their experience with us and I am looking forward to seeing everyone again in the near future.
A SMALL FISH IN A BIG POND
Lower Ground Floor ▪ Oriel Chambers ▪ 16 Water Street ▪ Liverpool L2 8TD
Tel: 0151 271 4237Twitter @smallfishBP · Instagram: A Small Fish In A Big Pond