The well, as a location to collect drinking water and to do your washing is a daily reality for many people around the world. Yet it is not only a basic necessity for survival, but also a focus of the community, a place to exchange stories and greet one’s neighbours.
We are striving to recreate this inclusivity and community amongst the bustle of Bristol, the city we call home.
Inspired by a number of trips to Zambia, we were determined to make our beautiful laundrette a reflection of the community built around the tap stand or at the well. At the well, people from the village met together, washed their clothes, drank water, swapped stories and sang songs. We came to the revelation that, even in the UK, the laundrette was a place where social interaction was acceptable, welcomed even. If only laundrettes were staffed by friendly people who could talk you through the use of the machines and pour you a cup of delicious Extract coffee they could be a real place of community, a home from home.
We think that concerns about the burden of the human population on the natural environment and the finite nature of resources should be challenging society’s culture of product ownership. New product service models such as communal laundrettes are just one possible way of reducing society’s demand for material goods. High utilisation of shared assets, such as washing machines and driers, allows a greater proportion of the population to benefit from increasing energy and water efficient technology as it develops.
Meet The Team
Stokes Croft is known for its diverse, vibrant and fiercely independent community and is on a continuous fight against blandification. It marks the beginning of the longest stretch of independent businesses in the UK.
Back in the 1950s, 145 Cheltenham Road opened as a coin-operated laundrette serving the local community. After a devastating fire, and a decade of standing empty and derelict, we were inspired to take on the building, return the laundrette back to Stokes Croft, and build a business with values that the community shared.
Today we still serve customers who used the original laundrette, and it is a huge privilege to serve and engage with people once again.
We're a first-generation family business. It is strange to think back to its beginnings, as it is hard to remember a time before it existed. Half a decade of dreaming, planning and renovating a derelict laundrette and, unbelievably, 8 years of serving Bristol's laundry needs, hosting incredible evenings of music, art and food and getting to know and love a community of customers and an incredible staff team, who have by extension become part of our family too.
So here we are 2020, three women in business. No suits insight. No bonuses, corporate weekends or performance targets. Thank goodness! Instead, years of mopping, designing, laying floors, laughing, folding, re-laying floors, more mopping, inspiration, exhibitions, stories and the community that makes it all possible and worthwhile.
Shout out to our mum too, who made it possible and is an absolute legend!
Ellen Cassie Lily
FOR THE LOVE OF
We do coffee differently. We serve all our of coffee, courtesy of Extract Coffee Roasters, in individual or sharing cafetieres. So why the love of filter?
It tastes just amazing. A slow brew allows the natural flavours of the coffee bean to come through, so whether it is chocolate, cherry, liquorice, tomato, caramel or olive the favours sing!
We always have a choice of three beans so you can choose just how adventurous you want to be. It’s unpretentious and delicious.
Filter coffee buys into our value for slow living. We don’t want to support a culture that promotes convenience over the community. So, whether you’re drinking in or taking away, you have to wait the four and a half minutes determined by the accompanying egg timer in order for those spectacular flavours to develop.
For the best coffee experience, we recommend that you drink in and enjoy your coffee in one of our homemade mugs!