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Tamper

Sheffield

Words: Ben Chaplin
Images: Nathan Taylor

When Tamper owners, Jon and Nat, let us know that two of their star employees, Ben and Nathan, were moving to London and looking for work at Ozone, we snapped them up in a heartbeat. Originally joining us as part time baristas while they found their feet in London, we are humbled today to tell Tamper’s story through the lens and words of two young lads we met at the London Coffee Festival in 2014. To this day, the Tamper and Ozone families work closely together to grow our communities and teams of the like-minded and ambitious.

When husband and wife team, Jon and Natalie Perry, were forced to choose between living in New Zealand (Jon’s motherland) and South Yorkshire (Natalie’s home), the couple decided that most importantly, they wanted to build a life which allowed them to be their own bosses and enjoy a flexible lifestyle with their young Kiwi-born children. So, after a decade of living in Auckland, one of the great cafe capitals of the world, Jon and Nat saw an opportunity to take a slice of the kiwi hospitality they had become so accustomed to back to the UK and call Sheffield home.

At the time, specialty coffee was still in its infancy in the UK, and cafes with great food, great service and beautiful interiors were almost non-existent. Historically, pubs had served as the great British community institution, however with increasing domination of faceless high street coffee chains and the closure of pubs on an almost daily basis, communities were crying out for a new kind of shared space. The market was primed for Jon and Natalie to execute their vision, and in 2011, Tamper Coffee, an all day kiwi coffee shop, opened it’s doors to the Sheffield community.

Five years later, they have built a modest empire. The original Tamper Coffee on Westfield Terrace has been developed over time to incorporate more tables and chairs to accommodate the demand, and they’ve developed the kitchen and menu to take it from a coffee shop to a fully fledged cafe. Their second venture, Tamper Sellers Wheel, was born directly out of an opportunity to take on a beautiful old silversmith’s warehouse in the heart of Sheffield. With added support from their new business partner, Ben Smith, Tamper Sellers Wheel was able to offer a much bigger, more developed all-day dining café concept with a Kiwi influenced menu, beers, wines, evening events, and of course, coffee.

In more recent years, born out of their frustration that they couldn’t source the level of baked produce they wanted to serve in their cafes, Jon, Nat and Ben opened The Depot, a Wholesale Bakery & Eatery. Showcasing epic sourdough, doughnuts, cakes, pastries and kiwi pies, while also serving delicious coffee, The Depot has become a central hub for their local community to enjoy the mixed-use industrial/retail space.
It’s no secret that life is full of opportunity. Knowing when to say yes and when to say no is often the hardest thing. As with any grass-roots success story, people want a piece of what has been built and often with the best of intentions. From investors, to property agents, customers and friends, over the years, Jon & Nat have been approached by dozens of people offering them ‘great opportunities’ to continue to grow their business. As an emerging market, Sheffield has provided the perfect platform to achieve rapid growth without lifestyle compromise. Jon and Nat firmly attribute their success to only saying yes to opportunities which align with their values of family, community and honest hospitality. They advise approaching all new opportunities with a healthy dose of scepticism, and to be careful not to risk damaging what has been created over years of hard work.

Afterall, an opportunity is only an opportunity, if you decide it is.