25 square meters on London’s famous Bermondsey Street was all it took to conceive Watch House and lay the foundations of everything to come. Historically a shelter for men guarding the graveyard of St Mary Magdalen’s Church, today we honour its former role by providing a contemporary sanctuary to our customers. This tiny building became our namesake and the home of a simple ambition, to offer quality coffee, food and service, and bring a new lease of life to this unique building.
From these humble beginnings our ambitions have continued to grow, leading us to new spaces, cultivating great relationships and expanding what we want to bring to our customers. This journey formalises itself in what we consider to be Modern Coffee. As we look to the future, we hope to continue to build on what we started with; preserving the legacy of our spaces remains at the heart of our development, and Modern Coffee at the heart of what we do.
Honouring the history of our buildings and their surrounding areas continues to be our inspiration, designing each new House to feel familiar but wholly unique. This narrative leads us to consider more about what we believe encapsulates ‘Modern Coffee’.
We respect ‘Speciality Coffee’ for the benchmark it provides; dedication to a transparent and ethical supply chain, focus on provenance, flavour and quality of coffee. It is the foundation of knowledge at each stage of our work, and an evolving source of reference.
Modern Coffee encapsulates a wider experience, recognising the breadth of what makes your coffee stop special - excellent coffee, considered spaces, quality food and most importantly the people involved every step of the way.
Grounded in community, inspired by the past, our aspiration is to be your local hero wherever we open. We are the welcome alternative to the faceless chain, a home for the curious customer who knows what they want, and are loyal to what is good. WatchHouse’s ethos is to be an active part of the communities we inhabit - we make great coffee and delicious food in bespoke environments. It is as simple as that.
At WatchHouse we aspire to build a company of skilled and passionate individuals working together to deliver Modern Coffee with care. Championing curiosity and ambition, we seek those who are hungry for knowledge and committed to pushing the boundaries of the task ahead of them. This is our community. Not simply a group of people, but a team dedicated to giving a little unique insight to each customer that steps through the door.
CEO & Founder.
Roland founded WatchHouse in 2014, having prior and extensive experience in running small to medium sized businesses. In addition he holds non-exec and exec directorships in the fields of property and management. Roland is an MSc graduate of Economic History from the LSE and is currently study for his Exec MBA at Oxford University.
Steph joined WatchHouse as a Cafe Manager of our first site in Bermondsey, and has since gone on through the company rising to the position of Operations Director. Originally from Brighton Sussex, Steph oversees the operations of our sites along with our House and Assistant House Managers.
Head of Product.
Paul joined WatchHouse in 2021 as Head of Product, having years of experience in specialty coffee working in a range of roles beginning as a barista & most recently in wholesale. Having previously represented the UK at World Coffee Championships, Paul is the current UK Barista Champion and is looking forward to competing again at this years championship. Paul holds a degree from the University of Southampton in Business Management.
Head of Coffee.
Ryan joined WatchHouse in 2018 as Head of Coffee. After making the finals of the Coffee Masters 2017 competition, Ryan has since gone on to coach the 2019 Brewer Cup Winner and will support the WatchHouse Competition team competing at the World Barista Championship in 2021. Ryan is a qualified Q-grader and is industry known for his passion and ambition within coffee. Ryan holds a degree from the University of Dundee in Psychology.
Head of People.
Jessica join WatchHouse in 2020 as our Head of People. Jess has over fifteen years experience in hospitality sector, eight of those in specialty coffee. She worked previously in management team at Harris & Hoole Cafes before joining Taylor Street Baristas as a HR Administrator in 2016. During these prior roles she gained extensive knowledge and experience in recruitment, ER and training and development and now leads these elements of the business at WatchHouse.
Head of Food.
Simon joined WatchHouse in 2020 as Head of Food. His extensive experience in the hospitality sector has encompassed work as a chef in leading five star hotels, to operational management roles in leading sport & leisure venues and speciality coffee retail. Simon brings a passion for exceptional food to the WatchHouse team and delivering an offer for a Modern Coffee experience.