"When the bank doesn't understand it, White Oak UK does!"
Joe O'Hara, Owner, Alchemy Coffee
Joe O’Hara, owner of coffee importer, roaster and retailer Alchemy, once built oilrigs in Texas. But he caught the coffee bug on honeymoon in Central America – so much that he gave up Texas oil for Wimbledon coffee, setting up Alchemy and growing it from a tiny coffee events company to a premium wholesaler and retailer.
Joe wanted a rather special 85-year-old coffee roaster. Why? Because it was built to a level of quality that doesn’t exist anymore, allowing for more consistent roasting. But the roaster was rare, expensive and needed a complete restoration – and that’s where the problems began.
As Joe put it: “You go to a bank and say the roaster is 75 years old; you say it’s in a warehouse in Germany and it needs to be completely restored. You say you’re buying it in euros and then shipping it over to Britain. We went to a few banks, but they couldn’t understand it.”
We had already worked with Joe and were pleased to help Alchemy this time too, with asset finance for the purchase and restoration of the roaster.
As well as supplying retailers, Alchemy has a café near St Paul’s, with further expansion planned. The new roaster is a central part of this, maintaining the coffee’s premium quality as well as increasing volume.
Andy Davies, Group Sales Director at White Oak UK commented, "One of our most interesting stories to date, we are proud to have been able to help Alchemy with providing the money needed to restore their vintage coffee machine. We hope to be able to assist with any future plans Alchemy have to growth their business."
We could not have been happier. Banks as usual were a nightmare - they took over six weeks to eventually refuse for vague reasons unexplained. White Oak UK were professional, helpful, friendly, and best of all, fast.