New café lights up the High Street

GOW Systems was delighted to be asked to support The Old Fire Station in Crowborough with a burglar alarm system recently. The coffee house and eatery was new to the High Street and is a venture by local man Phil Clark, who also runs outside and event catering.

“I first met Phil when he was supplying outside catering at Crowborough Cricket Club and he mentioned that he’d taken over the lease of the building in the High Street, which had been empty for a little while,” says Gareth Owen-Williams, owner of GOW Systems. “I briefly explained about our services and he said that security was something he needed to address, so we exchanged details.”

Gareth called in to see Phil during the early stages of the fit-out of The Old Fire Station.

“While we assessed the security risks as being relatively low, Phil understood that the café is in a prominent position in the High Street and he wanted to ensure that catering equipment and stock within the coffee house were protected – so he realised he needed some sort of electronic security,” Gareth explains. 

GOW Systems suggested a wireless system which Phil could both monitor and control from an app on his mobile phone. It included an external bell box and sensors throughout and an easy-to-use control panel, as well as additional capacity for the future.

“Gareth took time to understand my concerns and suggested a system which I’ve found really simple to use,” says Phil. “He installed it with the minimum of disruption and fuss, which I appreciated as we were busy fitting out the café at the same time.”

Adds Gareth: “We went with a radio system for The Old Fire Station as, apart from being straightforward to use, it also offers a huge amount of flexibility – as we can add to system easily in the future, as the business develops. We were on quite a tight time frame with this project but worked with Phil to give him a system which has given him real peace of mind. The fact that it’s on an app means he is immediately notified if anything does happen. In addition, the bell box on the outside of the building will be activated too – with both flashing lights and a loud alarm.”

Unsurprisingly, the establishment is indeed based in Crowborough’s old fire station building and Phil has embraced this theme, bringing in a selection of fire related memorabilia and looking to enhance this further in the future as the business grows

Since The Old Fire Station has opened, it’s become a popular addition to Crowborough High Street. In addition to offering delicious coffee, cakes and pastries, customers can also enjoy a variety of sandwiches, baguettes and salads as well as breakfast options such as smashed avocado and smoked salmon available all day. Phil has also opened up the space for evening events too, whilst establishing a popular sandwich delivery service for local businesses. Among younger Crowborough residents, the café has developed a reputation for its Freakshakes – huge jugs of milk decorated with cream and a variety of different chocolates and biscuits. 

From the beginning, Phil wanted the coffee house to be very much part of the local community; for example, both The Old Fire Station and GOW Systems are members of Crowborough and District Chamber of Commerce. In June, both businesses supported the Crowborough Summer Fun Day, which was organised by the Chamber.

 The High Street was shut to traffic, which gave Phil the opportunity to spread chairs and tables out into the street. The event had a French theme, so Phil captured this by creating steaming trays of mussels, French fries and baguettes as well as running a French-themed bar.

“We are a local business and like to support other local businesses whenever we can,” says Phil. “That’s one of the reasons we chose to work with GOW Systems. We also appreciated how quickly they have come back to us if we’ve had any questions.”

Adds Gareth: “From a purely personal point of view, it’s great to have an independent coffee shop on the High Street offering delicious coffee and snacks – I’ve enjoyed popping in there with my laptop to catch up on paperwork a few times.”

If you are a café or retail unit looking for advice on security, give us a call on tel: 07900 405000.

If you are interested in what The Old Fire Station has to offer both instore and as a reputable outside caterer, call: 01892 458028