North Star’s new site has Leeds frothing

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Armed with a second hand coffee roaster bought from a pensioner in Wales, two university graduates ended up creating a coffee cult in Leeds.

And after one month of being the seller rather than the supplier, City Buzz chats to North Star about the “scariest thing it has ever done”.

After four years of producing coffee for wholesale supply to Leeds coffee shops and hotels, North Star opened its own cafe alongside its own roastery and training academy to give a shop front face to the brand and enable more people to wake up and smell the coffee - quite literally, as it is in the heart of businesses and city living apartments in Leeds Dock.

Holly Bowman who, with partner Alex Kragiopoulos, founded North Star, told City Buzz: “It was the scariest thing we have ever done. We went from three staff to 13 overnight, we handed our brand out to other people to represent and also with wholesale you have a customer base and you know what is coming in.

“We didn’t know if people would be interested in what we were doing but feedback has been really positive and the nicest thing is actually seeing people interacting with our product. For some that have only drank instant - it is life-changing.”

And rather than succumb to frothing as many cappuccinos as they can count in a day, they have stayed true to their beliefs as the North Star brand grew.

Beans are personally sourced from 12 hand-picked farms across Latin America, East Africa and Indonesia with flavours staying natural and now they intent to share the ethical approach with other coffee businesses and home coffee lovers via the academy.

Holly added: “On paper it was a really hard sell to get people to buy into working with us. It has taken this amount of time, but we have a real name for quality and ethic.”