"Overwhelming": How rapid success of new coffee shop Bean & Gone has left young owners to dream of Pudsey boom
The young owners of a coffee shop launched during the lockdown after a 'drunken conversation' sparked their ambition have told the YEP they dream of a 'boom' in businesses heading to Pudsey.
Ella Kiernan-Firth, 25, and partner Ryan Wade, 27, were asked 'if you had a coffee shop, what would you call it?'
Despite Ella being a teacher at the time and Ryan working in the pharmaceutical industry, the pair already had a passion for coffee and the conversation 'sparked' the thought of chasing their dream and opening a new speciality cafe in the centre of Pudsey
Ryan jokingly replied 'Bean & Gone' - and it was there that their ambitions stemmed.
Just months later, the couple opened their coffee shop and cafe to a huge reception on July 19 - known as Freedom Day - with hundreds going through the doors in the past two weeks.
The pair source all of their ingredients and beans locally and support businesses across West Yorkshire.
Speaking to the YEP, Ella said the response to their new venture had been "overwhelming" and the pair couldn't believe the numbers of visitors who shared their passion for coffee.
Opening a business during lockdown was a risk, the pair agreed.
However, they didn't let the pandemic put pay to their plans and instead transformed a former travel agents into a modern new cafe in the heart of the thriving town.
Now, Ella and Ryan hope other potential business owners will join them and spark a business boom in Pudsey.
Ella, who is originally from Birkenshaw, said: "It has been completely overwhelming.
"We have both been in a bubble since we opened.
"We can't believe the response and how great everyone who has come into the shop has been.
"It is so nice to bring a different kind of business to Pudsey centre.
"We want to excite people with our modern and fresh outlook and hope we are doing that."
Ella and Ryan have already brought four more jobs to the town through their new employees.
Due to the popularity of the coffee shop so far, they are even conducting more interviews to cover longer hours and keep up with demand.
Ella said: "The first few days have been very busy and consistent with people coming in.
"It has honestly been amazing.
"We had a lot of conversations during lockdown and setting up the shop about whether we had done the right thing.
"Was it the right time to open now?
"We just wanted to open up and make the best impression possible and it is paying off."
Ella quit her teaching role in March this year to pursue her dream of opening the coffee shop.
She said: "It was the first time we had found ourselves the space to breathe [during the lockdown] and assess what we wanted.
"I just thought, lets go for it, why not.
"We really built the shop because we wanted somewhere nearby to go for coffee, it is just brilliant that others feel the same!"
Ryan, who is originally from Melton Mowbray, said their first two weeks had been "absolutely awesome".
He added: "It is better than we could have really expected.
"We didn't know if the speciality coffee choice would match up with Pudsey but the knowledge of people already and their passion has exceeded our expectations.
"We are both chuffed to bits with the opening, we are bang in the centre of Pudsey and couldn't ask for more."
Ella and Ryan have watched on as neighbouring Farsley has undergone a 'boom' in the past five years, with house prices surging due to the popularity of Sunny Bank Mills and other venues.
They are now dreaming that other prospective business owners could follow their path and move into Pudsey - recreating the bustling high street of previous years.
Ella said: "Pudsey is so nice and there is always a lot of footfall.
"We have a bustling centre with the markets and the park nearby.
"It would be amazing to see other businesses join us in the town."