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Esquires – Guildford’s Latest Coffee Shop Offering

Published on: 7 Dec, 2016
Updated on: 7 Dec, 2016
The team at Guildford's newest coffee shop led by Nikki

The team at Guildford’s newest coffee shop led by Nicci Austen (centre)

By Alice Fowler

Guildford’s coffee lovers have a new must-visit destination – Esquires, recently opened on the Upper High Street, opposite the Harbour Hotel.

Not quite an independent – this is Esquires’ 27th coffee shop in Britain, with others across the world from New Zealand to the Middle East – the new Guildford branch offers organic Fair Trade coffee, Suki loose leaf tea, cakes from eight different suppliers (including many that are gluten-free), all day brunch and a variety of freshly made deli sandwiches and jacket potatoes.

Esquires coffee shop

Plenty of choice for those with a sweet tooth

Particular favourites so far, says manager Nicci Austen, are waffles with maple syrup and whipped cream – a surefire hit for kids – while their parents tuck into smashed avocado on toast.


“…we need a coffee shop at this end of town.”

“I was a bit worried about our position in the beginning, but it’s been fantastic,” Nicci says.

“Everybody who’s come in says we need a coffee shop at this end of town. There are three schools up here for one thing. We’re really busy at breakfast, pretty busy at lunch, and then things drop off a bit later on.”

Operated under franchise, all Esquires coffee shops are different and source their own suppliers.

This one has a huge old map of Guildford on the rear wall, trendy cement-finish walls and comfortable, armed chairs on which to linger.

Franchise owner Chris Rance already runs an Esquires in Buckingham and, as head of a city renovations company, has fitted out the Guildford branch himself. He also happens to own the Cracking Eggs Company in Milton Keynes, which naturally supplies the eggs.

Esquires coffee shopAnd Esquires is expanding, with a branch in Esher, also to be managed by Nicci, opening next May.

The franchise company was founded in Canada in 1993 and is now owned by a company in New Zealand. Choice remains a byword – milks on offer at the Guildford branch include soya milk, almond milk, coconut milk and hemp milk, as well as skimmed, semi-skimmed and whole. Non-caffeine drinkers will find plenty of treats too, from design your own milkshakes to fresh smoothies.

Protein balls, a nutritious snack, are proving popular with cyclists. And don’t forget those waffles.

“We sold 58 in one week,” Nicci reports. The upper High Street clearly has a hit on its hands.

Esquires, 278 High Street, is open from 7am-6pm Monday to Saturday and 8am-5pm on Sundays.

Mince pies? Of course - it's nearly Christmas.

Mince pies? Of course – it’s nearly Christmas.

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