A WINNING Woking blend has seen the launch of a new café at The Lightbox gallery and museum, thanks to a local coffee roasting company.

The Cannon Coffee Roasters, run by Chris Foulkes and Ben Hartman, has opened its first café just five months after it started trading in June, roasting speciality and arabica coffees with a focus on traceability and sustainability.

They had already discovered an enthusiastic market for their coffees through their website and so decided to take up an invitation to tender for the café at The Lightbox, in the heart of Woking, beside the Basingstoke Canal and neighbouring the WWF.

Chris, who moved to Woking from Guildford where he had worked in all aspects of the coffee roasting business for eight years at Redber Roasting Company, said: “We had originally planned to open a café in about two years and then this opportunity came up and it was a no-brainer.”

He and Ben, whose background is in digital marketing, shared a passion for coffee and the two started to work on plans to set up a coffee roasting company last year.

With sales of their coffee taking off across the country, including Belfast and Manchester, alongside the opening of their flagship café at The Lightbox, they are already looking at expanding into bigger roasting premises in Woking.

Chris said: “We are massively excited to be launching our first café in The Lightbox so that we can share the taste of our coffees with all of Woking, and especially in one of the most amazing art galleries in the South!”

Chef, Ryan Waker, also from Woking, will be serving a breakfast and lunch menu with an all-day menu that includes soup, sandwiches, sausage and/or bacon baps and a selection of cakes and sweet treats, with takeaway options available.

Chris and Ben, who are both in their 20s, have developed a special Lightbox Coffee Blend – a combination of Brazilian and Costa Rican Coffee that they describe as an all-round, people-pleasing coffee with flavours of chocolate and mixed fruits.

The Brazilian beans are grown by Ana Pelicer and her family at Faznda Mio in Minas Gerais, with the Costa Rican coffee coming from Francesca and her husband Oscar at Lote las Lajas.

“We are thrilled to welcome Cannon Café to The Lightbox gallery and museum and hope the local community will show their support and pop in to sample the delicious new menu and speciality roast coffee,” said operations director Pru Shackley. “We are also delighted that Cannon Café are generously offering a 10% discount to our Lightbox Members.”

The café is open from Tuesday to Saturday, at 10am until 4pm, and on Sunday from 10am until 3.30pm. No pre-booking required, seating is available indoors and in the courtyard.

* For more information on Cannon Café and the programme of exhibitions and events at The Lightbox, visit www.thelightbox.org.uk.