By Noah Roberts
Jake Gilmour and his business partner Jonathan Greenwood own Kulture Coffee – the Sydney Inspired coffee shop which opened on Kirkstall Road in June 2021, being an instant success with locals and students alike.
Jake, who is originally from Sheffield will soon be residing in Bramley, first came to Leeds to study as a PE teacher. Following his studies, he stayed in Leeds saying he “fell in love with the city, it has the metropolitan vibes of other larger cities with great events, nightlight and restaurants whilst still feeling friendly and welcoming”
Jake’s visit to Sydney and his work in a coffee shop on Manly Beach opened his eyes to a new culture around coffee that he decided to bring here to the UK.
On his return to Leeds he wanted to source speciality graded coffee, like they had seen in Australia because it is a better standard and more sustainable. The coffee is farm picked, sorted by crop grade and then scored by the Speciality Coffee Association.
This was important to Jake and Jonathan as it meant farmers benefit from being able to charge a higher price and have a better relationship with roasters, making it a more sustainable model.
Jake started his dream by roasting coffee from a unit in Osmondthorpe, distributing coffee through an online store. Prior to lockdown he had started work on a business plan, with the vision recreate in west Leeds a coffee shop with the same vibe as the relaxed coffee shacks he had seen whilst living at Manly Beach.
So when a unit became available after locks down on Kirkstall Road he was excited because: “I knew Kirkstall was such a great place and all it was lacking was a small independent coffee shop. Since opening here a couple of other independent businesses have opened a few doors away creating a new buzz around Kirkstall area and attracting our locals and students.”
The artwork inside the coffee shop reflects its local and international influences. With images of Manly Wharf and New York City, sitting alongside local west Leeds landmarks likes Kirkstall Abbey.
This unique décor linking our locality to Australia includes the toilet, which has specially made tiles that spell out the number of miles between Leeds and Sydney.
They made the counter and wall furnishings inside the shop from reclaimed wood to captured the bohemian surf shack feel.
Kulture Coffee has become famous for stocking the popular volcano cookies which are baked fresh in store.
Jake used his skills as an ex-chef to develop a cookie brand taking his inspiration from the famous Lavain bakery in New York City that sells 6oz cookies.
The coffee shop attracts lots of Australian customers. Kulture coffee has quickly become a meeting space where fellow Aussies who are new to west leeds can meet up whilst enjoying the kind of coffee they would back in Oz. A regular customer of the coffee shop has also created a Facebook group called Aussies in Leeds.
Sandwiches are also available and they are keen to use locally sourced ingredients, as example kirkstall local, community worker and beautician Jita who is known for her delicious homemade green chutney was used on their summer menu.
The business is expanding with its recent announcement that will be opening on evenings as a cocktail bar.
The bar will be dog friendly and serve cocktails, craft beer, and a tasty simple food offering.
Jake and Jonathan, who have both worked on Greek Street, Leeds will be using their own coffee roasts to create an exciting new coffee five ways cocktail menu.
This weekend – Friday 3 November from 5pm – will be the launch of new bar with Kulture Coffee.