Cafe culture by the Waterfront
11:26 11 January 2014
Kie’s happy to go continental and propte cafe culture
Ipswich businessman Kie Humphreys was one of the earliest to see the potential of the Ipswich Wet Dock regeneration area.
Eleven years ago, with the help of his family, he took over a unit at Neptune Quay and opened the Continental Colours Cafe.
“In that time we have seen it all happening here,” he said, “The development of the marina, the Salthouse Harbour Hotel and the university have all been good for the area. It has changed dramatically.
“I did this straight from college with my sister, Kiri, and parents, Louise and Philip.” The family now have a coffee and cafe supply business, based in Bury St Edmunds too.
“The unit was just a shell when we took it and we fitted it out ourselves,” he said.“We have other businesses now.”
He looked back on a busy year at the Waterfront.
“The summer weather was much more consistent than 2012. It was lovely down here. Everyone loves being alongside the water.”
The previous year had been tough, he said. The weather had been poor and a lot of people had stayed home to watch the London Olympics on television.
In contrast last year had been much more positive for the Ipswich Waterfront businesses.
“I would like to see more retail here,” he continued. “There are more homes on the way and a lot of potential for other businesses too. The Maritime Festival is a big draw.
“Now, with more of the quayside paved towards Aurora Restaurant, there is a superb area for other events to be held down here. There is tremendous potential still at the Waterfront.”
Mr Humphreys, who also has an estate agency and property management business, Luv Property, is a firm believer in cafe culture.
“I spend a lot of time in cafes,” he said. “Cafes are social centres, they are also great places to do business.
“You can meet people all the time, and with mobile phones and laptops you don’t have to be out of touch.
“Cafes are great places for socialising. I always check others out. There is a Portuguese cafe in Thetford I go to which is a real social centre. I am really excited about my other cafe, Cafe Siena, in Tower Ramparts with all the town centre investment and new tenants opening there over the coming weeks.”
There are tables and seats outside, for better days, and from Easter each year, an additional decking area close to Neptune Marina overlooking the water to take advantage of the Waterfront views and the weather.