Southern Enterprise Awards 2023

SME News Southern Enterprise Awards 2023 | 32 Best Local Café 2023 - Oxford The Tree Artisan Cafe is a gorgeous little café based in Oxford, UK. It is a coffee lovers dream, and also provides a wide array of delicacies suitable for discerning customers including those with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free dietary requirements. It is a wonderful place to stop off for a refresh after a busy day exploring The City of the Dreaming Spires. Oxford is a city of great historical significance, with connections to royalty and scholars stretching back many hundreds of years. It boasts fascinating architecture that is a joy to behold, and of course it is famed for its prestigious university that was founded in 1096! Interesting places of note to visit include the Radcliffe Camera, the Bodleian Library, and the Sheldonian Theatre. It is a terrific draw for tourists, but is also a fantastic place just to live, work, and study. Whether you are a long-time resident of the city, or just passing through, the one thing that is vital to everyone is a friendly place to stop for a coffee and a quick bite to eat. Luckily the Tree Artisan Cafe has you covered in that regard. With is tasty sandwiches, perfectly cooked bagels, and sweet treats, it is the ideal place to take a well-earned rest after a long trek around the nearby Somerville College. Its quietly distinctive shop is located on Little Clarendon Street, and is a cosy and welcoming retreat for visitors to relax a while. The café offers traditional British cuisine including snacks, cakes smoothies, teas, and out of this world coffees. Lattes are even skilfully decorated with artistic designs that bring smiles to customers’ faces. If you don’t happen to be in the mood for hot coffee, there are super alternative such as herbal teas or the brightly coloured iced matcha lattes on offer. These drinks, in particular, make for a terrific cooling thirst quencher on a hot day. Graziella Barreto Ascensao started Tree Artisan Cafe three years ago, although she says it feels like it was only yesterday. The shop was a longtime dream of Graziella’s which actually took sixteen years to realise. It took hard work, study, love, and dedication to get to where it is today, but as she says, she is “so grateful I’ve been able to act on my imagination, and make my goals a reality.” Graziella is very proud of the team who work at Tree Artisan Cafe, who she recognises as all being unique in their own idiosyncratic and special ways. As the owner of the business, she is gratified to witness them all bringing their own personal light to the table, and feels honoured to have discovered such a beautiful team of individuals. The staff members at the Tree Artisan Cafe provide their customers with a warmth and care that is unparalleled. “It’s amazing to see the dedication and passion that each and every member of our team brings to work every single day.” -Graziella Barreto Ascensao, Tree Artisan Cafe founder. In many ways, Graziella sees it as her mission not only to expand as a company, but also to create a home for all of the charismatic individuals who have become a part of the Tree Artisan family. She wants it to continue growing and maturing in the fashion to which it has become accustomed. That is to say, whilst maintaining the love and care that makes the team so unique and special. In order to remain on trend in the industry, Tree Artisan Cafe always listens very carefully to its customers, and considers what they have to say. Because it is such a close-knit family café, customers feel comfortable bringing their ideas up, and making suggestions about what the café should consider doing next. Graziella feels this is always very helpful as she knows her customers are always up to date with the latest trends. Furthermore, they are the ones who know what they would like to see next on the menu at their favourite café. This is how the Tree Artisan Cafe came to offer such a wide variety of choices catering to different dietary preferences, including their delicious vegan cakes. Recently, Tree Artisan Cafe has noticed an increased appreciation for sustainable and environmentally friendly materials/ingredients. This has been a core value to it since it began, as demonstrated by its choice to use recycled wood to build most of the coffee shop interior, and the zero-waste partnership it has formed to convert coffee leftovers into clean energy. This year it has furthered its commitment once more by concentrating on reducing food waste. This is something it strongly believes should be far more commonplace across the industry. Tree Artisan Cafe carefully monitors its inventory to make sure it’s only ordering what it needs. This helps it minimize the amount of food that goes to waste. It also has programmes in place whereby any excess food is donated to local charities and food banks, thus putting it to good use instead of throwing it away. It is very proud of the steps it’s taken to be more sustainable, and very much hopes that others will be inspired to follow its lead. When it comes to hiring new staff, Tree Artisan Cafe prefers to think of it as increasing the family. It thinks the most important thing its team members have is the ability to make customers feel at home. This obviously starts with the staff themselves feeling at home, as this is what enables them to spread the warmth and joy. As the business owner, Graziella has certain vital decisions she must make but it is still important that the team know they’re always free to pitch in ideas. At Tree Artisan Cafe each individual is encouraged to bring their authentic personality in order to provide the best customer service they can. Tree Artisan is proud to have such a diverse group of personalities on its team. There’s chatty Paolo, sweet Lilly, speedy Lidia, creative Michele, lovely E and efficient Lara, with each individual offering a unique authenticity that is truly welcomed. In fact, it's what sets the café apart and makes it a special home. Graziella loves working with such a talented and vibrant group of people. She thinks it’s inspiring to see everyone's different strengths and personalities gel together to create such a wonderful atmosphere. There's never a dull moment at Tree Artisan Cafe, and Graziella feels lucky to be a part of such a great team. Looking to the future, Graziella would love to be able to expand the Tree Artisan family by opening other cafes, spreading the love worldwide. She has a dream to share the passion for coffee and delicious pastries with people all over the world, believing that every community deserves a gathering place where they can enjoy life’s simple pleasures. It is through the support of her loyal customers and dedicated team members she is confident of making this dream a reality. She is excited to see what the future holds for Tree Artisan and all the wonderful things it will create as it continues to grow and spread the love far and wide.