Colourful co-working spaces have been created above The Modern Boulangerie in Ramsgate.
Couple Deb and Phil Shotton, who are already Boulangerie investors, decided to take on two floors above the TMB shop and café in Harbour Street, creating offices and a meeting room on the second floor earlier this year and now opening the co-working space.
The pair say the aim of upstairs@tmb is to provide affordable space which people can rent for the day at £9 or half day for £6.
Software consultant Phil and gardener turned property manager/developer Deb became involved with TMB’s move to the former Celandine Hall after deciding to invest profit made on a property sale into helping the local business, run by baker George Bellamy-Adams and his mum Karen, expand.
The upper floors had been taken on by a different firm but the arrangement fell through and Phil and Deb decided to step in.
Deb said: “Phil and I recognised there was no way that Karen and George were going to have the bandwidth or time to work on these spaces, which were a building site with bare floorboards and a whole load of builders’ clutter lying around.
“We knew we had tenants interested in the offices on the top floor, so rushed to get them ready, fitting carpets, loos and a kitchen area, so that they could move in at the beginning of February.
“The first floor, with its beautiful light and stunning space, deserved better than being divided up into offices and we decided to launch it as a digital nomad hot desk space.
“We did some research, chatted to our kids and anyone else we knew who had used spaces like this to work and, with the help of our wonderful friends set designer Philip Whitcomb and concept creator Beatrice Austin, we developed a bright, friendly space with colourful and energetic vibes.
“We’ve brought in loads of lovely plants with the help of our friend Keeley from Foliage Bar in St Lawrence which has to be the best place to sit with a G&T …. it’s like being in a rainforest, tranquil and green and scented!
“It’s still in development. We’re planning on fitting privacy “zoom” booths so that people can participate in on-line meetings without disturbing other users, as well and some high standing/stool workspaces. We’re also planning to install secure bike storage.”
The bright space, which also features a quiet area, has 12 hot desks and work will take place over the coming days to create two or three ‘zoom’ booths with soundproofing.
Deb, who describes the link between TMB and the workspaces as’ symbiotic’ says keeping the site available to the community was especially important, adding: “We wanted to make them affordable so that people can come in and work with us who maybe struggle to heat their homes during the day when it is cold so that they can work comfortably, or whose home office space is stuffy and too hot in Summer and who will benefit from our air conditioned, airy space.”
The introductory offer of £9 per day (£6 per half day) includes a free coffee from The Modern Boulangerie for those booking in advance online. Weekly and monthly subscriptions are also available.
It is hoped those prices can be maintained. Deb said: “If it all goes swimmingly and we have good occupation, we would like to leave that price just where it is.
“We feel it is very important that Celandine Hall is an important building for the community in Ramsgate and we are thrilled to be able to work in such harmony with George and Karen to provide a lovely space for residents and guests to enjoy.”
The Modern Boulangerie opened at its new Harbour Street premises in November last year.
The business, started by George in April 2017, moved from its former West Cliff Road shop to the expansive Celandine Hall property.
upstairs@tmb can be found at: https://upstairs-at-tmb.space/