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Five Years of Beaulieu: In Conversation With…Coffee Squared

16th September 2020

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In celebration of Beaulieu’s fifth anniversary this year, Countryside spoke with founder and co-owner of Coffee Squared, the popular independent coffee shop owned by Gemma Arrowsmith, about why Beaulieu is an exciting place to live and work and how the community has grown over the past five years.

What brought you to Beaulieu to start your business?

Beaulieu seemed like an excellent location for us, given all the great schools nearby and the rapidly growing community. We felt that it had a unique charm about it that made it the perfect location to start an independent coffee house. Having Essex’s first all-through school on the doorstep of the development was a huge drive for us. We often have families, parents and pupils pop into our shop.

With more homes coming to Beaulieu in the years to come, our customer base will only continue to grow. This was another reason why we were so keen to be part of Beaulieu Square: we were very encouraged as we felt it had endless potential.

How has the neighbourhood changed in the time that you’ve been here?

Since opening our doors in November 2018, we have been lucky enough to see our business thrive. One reason for this was the opening of the Community Centre opposite us. Another was the opening of the new school which is located conveniently nearby to our business.

We have also noticed that, as the Square became a lively and busy place, our coffee shop has become a meeting place for residents and visitors, creating a warm, welcoming and friendly environment.

Have you gotten to know the community well in the past few years?

With the opening of the Community Centre we have forged a close relationship with the team there as well as the local church. My husband Mark has become a Trustee and we have supported a number of the Centre’s various events.

Through sponsoring various initiatives and organisations in the area, we have gotten to know local families and their children, many of whom regularly play and train at the school grounds. This has also created a greater demand at weekends, which in turn has led to us being able to employ more local people. We are proud sponsors of Uplands Rangers FC who play all their matches on the fields of Beaulieu Park School – the ability to support local children is something that we value dearly.

Through our own events we have gotten to know the community in ways that we couldn’t be able to otherwise. Inviting locals to sit outside on our terrace on a Friday night whilst enjoying a bottle of wine and a pizza has really helped to bring us closer to those in the community.

In your view, what makes Beaulieu different to other developments?

Countryside has provided a great place for businesses to grow: Beaulieu has become a sought-after location for professionals to live and raise families because of its location and its facilities. The homes are exceptionally attractive and there are many green spaces and parks for children to enjoy.

We feel so fond of Beaulieu that we are now in the process of buying a family home at Beaulieu Heath, which we are very much looking forward to. There has been real thought given to creating a friendly, close-knit community, which has really helped to support local businesses.

What’s your favourite aspect of working at Beaulieu?

We love working at Beaulieu; it is a friendly, exciting and energising place. The potential for the development is huge, particularly when we think how far the community has come in just a few years.

The different styles of architecture are attractive and it feels amazing to be part of a community that has the potential to go from strength to strength.

Beaulieu is home to a thriving mix of residents, business owners and community groups which has been growing over the past five years. Coffee Squared is located at 61 Centenary Way, Beaulieu Square, Chelmsford, CM1 6AU or can be contacted via phone on 01245 860578. Keep your eyes peeled on for a new website.