Published: 08:39, 21 October 2019
| Updated: 09:34, 21 October 2019
There is certainly no shortage of coffee shops in Canterbury - but one has a unique blend.
Because the new HatHats outlet on the Canterbury Academy campus is helping to fund the next generation of young entrepreneurs.
It is the brainchild of HatHats boss Louis Hurst, who is managing director of the Amelix Group and began forming and running businesses when he was just 15.
His company also runs the successful Reculver Visitor Centre, which has a HatHats coffee outlet and educational facilities.
Now he is working in partnership with the Canterbury campus and has opened his latest coffee shop alongside his independent Amelix Entrepreneuriship Academy, where 14 students aged between 16 and 18 are studying for a Btec in Entrepreneuriship and Enterprise.
"How it works is that we have set up a new coffee shop with the same standards as our Reculver site and students are learning barista and customers service skills," he said.
"But 50% of the profits goes into a fund to help support their own business start-up initiatives, which they are developing as part of their course.
"We believe it's the first educational concept of its kind in the country and already other educational establishments are showing keen interest."
Louis says research shows that 33% of young people who receive good entrepreneurship education go on to launch their own businesses, employing at least two people.
"Already the students have created a business called Coffee Runners, in association with the coffee shop, in which staff at the Canterbury Academy can set up a £5 monthly direct debit and then simply email or call to have their coffees delivered to their location on the campus.
"All the profits from the service go towards funding the students' future business plans," he said.
The new HatHats coffee shop at the campus sports centre is open to the public five days a week, but will start operating seven days a week next month.
"With easy free parking and high speed wi-fi, it's a great place to meet," said Louis.
More by this authorGerry Warren