CrownGate Shopping Centre
18 Broad St
Upon arriving in Worcester, it took four minutes from Forgate Station to locate Boston Tea Party. It is front and centre in the city with a striking exterior of artificial birds drinking from a vertical bird bath above the signature blue palette logo. For visitors commuting via train or coming into the centre, Boston is very easy to locate.
As I walked into the café, I was immediately engulfed in a sea of animated, joyous and heartening atmosphere. It was a scorching Saturday and the café was brimming with customers. As I looked around the first floor and then the second, all I could see were a mass of smiles as customers talked wildly with their tea cup in hand, sipped periodically as they typed on their laptop, and dug into their delectable food.
Although the Worcester branch knew that I was coming to do a feature on their summer drinks, I didn’t know what I looked like. This gave me the edge to perceive what the standard customer would get in service. As I approached the staff, the scent of celestial cake filled my nose as it lay upon the counter. It was perfectly displayed. What also caught my eye were the personal messages the staff had taken to write for different products. That little touch was quite welcoming. Not as welcoming as the staff were when I finally approached the counter.
First, I was greeted whole-heartedly and asked how my day was going. I responded and then asked them to recommend me a drink as I was under the guise of being a first time customer. The barista immediately gave me detailed information on a certain drink before I asked to order one. I was truly impressed at the sheer knowledge that was presented and the personal consideration they took of me into account.
I went away and situated myself and my belongings at a table beside the counter. In a matter of minutes, a glass was set down on the table. I was amazed at the quick service and the fact that the drink was created and exceeded perfection in their short time.
|Robert explaining the Guest Tea.|
I eventually returned to the counter and revealed who I was to which barista, Robert Healey, instantly sat me back down and sat upon the sofa opposite me. He proceeded to ask me if there was anything I wanted to try in particular and if there were any questions I’d like to ask. He was very accommodating and attentive, ensuring that any needs of mine were met before taking action.
In five or so minutes, Robert and the team – in between serving – produced twelve drinks for me to sample. Again, the efficiency and quickness was astounding as were the incredibly quality of each drink I tasted. You could perceive the amount of care and concentration that had been exercised to produce such a beauty. (To read my review on the drinks, click here.)
With each serving, Robert would sit down and thoroughly walk me through the recipe, process and making of each drink. Like when I asked for a drink recommendation, Healey expressed a great length of knowledge and through this, I could really feel his passion for his work. It isn’t often nowadays that you experience a team that truly enjoy their work and want to make the experience the best it can possibly be. It’s the fact that the staff actually takes care of you and ensures that you have purchased the ideal thing for you that is commendable. The passion for working there filled the air and that’s one of the reasons that so many people wandered in during my time there.
What I also liked about Worcester’s Boston Tea Party is the juxtaposition of dining experience. As the team spoke to me at my table, it was rather intimate but I was not crowded. The Worcester café create the illusion of seclusion. You can revel in the company of people but still remain in quiet solitude.
I genuinely had a wonderful experience and I will most definitely be making more trips to Worcester to experience a fantastic afternoon such as that once more!
In between sampling their menu, myself, baristas, Rob Healey and Ellie Bunch, and manager, Joe Phillips discussed how, what and why Worcester's Boston Tea Party is one of the most quintessential branches.
Q: Boston Tea Party is known for its diversity in customers; from students to freelancers to business to diners; why do you believe the café is so inviting and why should the people of Worcester and visitors of Worcester visit?
It’s a friendly service. People are well looked after and it’s a safe environment for all. We are in the centre, with beautiful views, with activities such as river viewing, rowing and cathedrals to accompany their visit to the café.
Q: You take great pride in being an independent café and your positive relationships with suppliers and customers so I must ask, do you believe it’s better to be a café that is to be –as you put it – “discovered, recommended and regularly revisited” and why?
We pride ourselves on being a chain with a difference, that each café has its own personality and is a hub of the local community rather than being part of a homogenised chain. Generally people come in and don’t know that Boston is a chain, we like to make it feel like it’s a home from home, with our homemade drinks and cakes. Each trip is personal and friendly.
Q: As I’ve witnessed today, the staff continuously put the customers first and ensure that they are pleased as well as remaining composed themselves despite the Summer being in full swing with chairs being filled fast and the lines for service are lengthening. What is your work ethic overall and what are most enjoyable aspects of being here in the Worcester branch – as a worker and a customer?
Everyone works with smiles and confidence in their team. It’s a light-hearted atmosphere, with steady hard work, but we never let the customer see us under pressure. We make customers feel comfortable and provide an efficient service. We clean as we go long to ensure space, we do take-out also for customers to enjoy their summer smoothies on-the-go.
To further my review, a customer was chosen at random and asked the following questions and it seems to echo my own thoughts;
Q: What stands about this store?
The art display of birds upon the balcony, the welcoming atmosphere and the fact it appears to be busy.
Q: Why did you decide to come here?
I come all the time and the staff treat me great and are always helpful.
Q: What do you like about this store?
It is a great choice of food and drink.
Q: Would you recommend this store?
Q: Will you be returning?
Always, I have my loyalty card ready every time.
So what are you waiting for? Get to Worcester and experience it for yourself!
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