A Tyne and Wear Metro worker has swapped a career in the railway industry to start his own business in a former Nexus travel shop.
Steve McCoy, who was a Metro maintenance worker for ten years, has set up a coffee shop what was the disused travel kiosk at Heworth Interchange in Gateshead.
He aims to offer of high quality barista coffee at affordable prices. His new shop, aptly titled ‘The Travellin’ Brew’, is a nod to its central location, which is one of the busiest public transport interchanges on Tyneside.
With 1.1 million passengers passing through Heworth Metro station each year Steve is hoping that his start-up enterprise, which he opened on January 7, will be just the ticket for thirsty commuters.
Steve, 45, of Washington, has a passion for coffee, and says it’s a dream come true to run his own business on the Metro system where he used to work.
He said: “This has always been a goal for me and now it’s a reality. It’s absolutely brilliant. It is long hours every day but I’ve got a smile on my face. It’s my own business, right on the Metro system.
“I’ve never done anything like this before. I used to be a painter and decorator before I went to work on Metro, where I worked on maintaining the stations. It’s a big change for me taking on this venture, but I’m passionate about good coffee and that’s what I will be delivering to my customers.
“Heworth is an ideal location as it’s such a busy interchange. It has buses, coaches, Metros, Northern Rail trains and taxis all in one location. That’s a lot of people every day - and now they have somewhere they can grab a really good coffee on their way to work in the morning.
“I’m aiming to deliver a quality product which is also affordable. All of the coffees that I sell I believe are just as good as what you would get from one of the big name high street coffee shops.”
Steve put in a huge amount of work to get the shop ready for its opening day. He spent long hours fitting it out himself with the help of his dad, Bob.
And in the first few weeks since he started trading he has been really pleased with the response.
He added: “People have said to me that Heworth Metro station has needed a place like this for long time.
“It’s something a bit different for this location and people really seem to like it and are coming over to buy a coffee on their way into work. I’ve even already got a few regulars who I am getting to know.
“There is no doubt that running a business is a big challenge but I am determined to make this one work.”
Customer services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “It’s great that we have a new business venture in our former travel shop at Heworth Interchange. We’re always keen to see successful new businesses on the Metro system.
“A coffee shop at Heworth, a station with high footfall, is a good idea and I am sure it’s something that will prove popular with passengers.”