Southern rail users can grab a soya latte on-the-go thanks to the arrival of a new coffee shop at Pulborough station.
The West Sussex station, which has a footfall of about 370,000, is now home to The Coffee Cup.
Owner Craig Knight, 32, who has worked in the coffee industry for 16 years and grew up in nearby Wisborough Green, said: “We are very excited to be up and running.”
Craig’s interest in coffee started as a teenager when he had a summer job working in a little coffee shop in Horsham town centre. He then went on to run the coffee kiosk at Billingshurst station, and he’s delighted to now have his Pulborough shop, which his dad Clive helps run. Craig said: “Funnily enough I went to school in Station Road, which is where my coffee kiosk is.”
At the new Pulborough outlet, hungry rail users can enjoy a variety of refreshments, from cappuccinos to bacon and sausage baps with meat supplied by a local butcher.
Craig, who lives in Loxwood, said: “We do a full selection of coffees and pastries. Lattes seem to be the most popular coffee round here. We also offer dairy-free options such as soya and almond milk. Sixteen years ago, it was unheard of for people to ask for a soya latte, but it’s the way the market is going nowadays. We have to keep up with the trends and I’m finding people are asking for soya simply because they like it and not because of a dairy intolerance.”
So why does Craig enjoy running coffee shops so much?
“I love the people – meeting and interacting with people all day. I enjoy hearing people’s stories,” he said.
Govia Thameslink Railway’s Business Development Manager, Rovin Vaz, said: “We are happy to have been able to work with The Coffee Cup, a local independent coffee company. Our passengers frequently tell us that having a facility at their local station which offers a snack or hot drink for the journey ahead is important to them. The Coffee Cup has been warmly welcomed at Pulborough station, which had been without such a facility for a few years.”
The Coffee Cup started trading earlier this month and is open from 05.30 to 14:00 Monday to Friday. Craig’s kiosk at Billingshurst is open from 05.45 to 14:00 Monday to Friday, and is also open on Saturday.
Govia Thameslink Railway
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:
- Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
- Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
- Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
- Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria
GTR is currently the most punctual of the large and complex operators in UK rail according to 'On Time' statistics released by the Office of Rail and Road for May, June and July 2019, and fourth of all train operators in the UK