The groovy, artisan coffee shop that’s almost half Tesco

January 3rd, 2013 24 Comments By Andy Dawson

1277189 Tesco HarrisAndHoole Amersham 05 300x199 The groovy, artisan coffee shop thats almost half TescoQ: When is an independent coffee shop not an independent coffee shop? A: When it’s part-owned by Tesco.

Sensitive java-swilling muppets across London and the South East are feeling duped by the new Harris + Hoole chain of coffee shops that appear to have a groovy, independent, artisan feel to them but are in fact 49% owned by the supermarket behemoth. Which is hilarious, obviously.

In a Guardian piece, scores of customers who have been fooled by the Harris + Hoole vibe are kicking the fuck off big-style about it all. They include Carol Levine, 50, a Crouch End physiotherapist, who says: ‘I avoid Starbucks because it’s a big chain and it avoids tax. Now I find this is Tesco… it looks like a small indie. It is disingenuous. It makes me upset. I feel duped. I don’t go in there [Tesco]. It is taking over the world. If it [Harris + Hoole] had been called Tesco Coffee, I wouldn’t have come in.’

Another Harris + Hoole customer, Katy Smith, said: ‘I don’t really like Tesco. I don’t shop in Tesco. Now I’m in one of them. They’ll probably be on every high street soon. I would avoid it, like I avoid Starbucks and Costa, which I thought I was doing today – putting money back in the community.’

Have YOU been in a branch of Harris + Hoole and thought you were enjoying a service provided by hard-working, honest, independent coffee toilers? Are you now distraught to find that you have in fact been pumping cash into the coffers of Tesco? Should there be some kind of law against this? TELL US!

Comments (24) Jump to most recent comment
  1. Posted by Avon Barksdale January 3, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Ha ha! Hipster guardianistas made to look like idiots! They’ll be blubbing into their wheatgrass power shakes for days.

  2. Posted by Gary Beans January 3, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Looks like a bit of a shithoole.

  3. Posted by zeddy January 3, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Dobbies garden centres are part owned by Teswco too.

    How many other pies do they have their fingers in?

  4. Posted by zeddy January 3, 2013 at 11:41 am

    *Tesco*

  5. Posted by me January 3, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    don’t drink coffee.

  6. Posted by Noghar January 3, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    And fancy sandwich bar Pret a Manger is owned by MacDonalds. It is how business works these days – do these people never watch Dragon’s Den?

    Branding, like advertising, is a stick rattling in a swill bucket. (c) George Orwell nineteen fifty-something.

  7. Posted by Jolyon Blast January 3, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Highlighted in The Times 22 March 2010: “Britain’s biggest supermarket uses its chain of 520 One Stop convenience stores ( often situated in less well-off areas) – which many customers do not realise it owns – to charge up to 14 per cent more for goods than it does in Tesco-branded stores.

  8. Posted by Nik January 3, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    When they opened in Amersham (which is the store pictured) the local papers were quite open about the chain being 50% owned by Tesco, so I’m surprised this little factoid is so easily ignored.
    The decor is nice, but the coffee is pretty ropey. Apparently they serve it “less hot” so that the “natural sweetness of the milk” can come through. This just means you’re paying £3 for a cup of lukewarm, sweet coffee.
    Also, their Gaggia system is a bit odd. Most chain coffee stores increase the number of shots of espresso as you get larger drinks, so 1 shot for small/medium and 2 shots for large coffees. H+H do 2 shots of espresso for all coffees, so the small is actually far too strong.
    For all their artisan pretensions, they still can’t serve coffee that hasn’t been burned.

  9. Posted by shiftynifty January 3, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    True Facto Mundo….Tesco`s coming to get you…at a ***** near you!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Posted by badger January 3, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    I sincerely hope H+H open in Totnes, so we can watch the town’s sandal-wearing jerkoffs have a dicky fit.

  11. Posted by Kevin January 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Exactly. You are paying for the convenience. Don’t like it? Walk further to your local Tescos.

  12. Posted by Andrew January 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Hahaha, idiots. Do they not realise all coffee shops are to make money? This isn’t North Korea. Bunch of hippies.

  13. Posted by shiftynifty January 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Posted by Nik • January 3, 2013 at 1:04 pm
    When they opened in Amersham (which is the store pictured) the local papers were quite open about the chain being 50% owned by Tesco, so I’m surprised this little factoid is so easily ignored.
    The decor is nice, but the coffee is pretty ropey. Apparently they serve it “less hot” so that the “natural sweetness of the milk” can come through. This just means you’re paying £3 for a cup of lukewarm, sweet coffee.
    Also, their Gaggia system is a bit odd. Most chain coffee stores increase the number of shots of espresso as you get larger drinks, so 1 shot for small/medium and 2 shots for large coffees. H+H do 2 shots of espresso for all coffees, so the small is actually far too strong.
    For all their artisan pretensions, they still can’t serve coffee that hasn’t been burned.

    ^^^^^^describing any typical tesco store….ropey

  14. Posted by No shit January 3, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    I saw a physiotherapist once. Made herself a Coffee on the ward, sat and wrote half a page of notes about what she was going to do with a patient and neatly finished the waffle with “Patient declined intervention”. These morons have to do a degree, 3 years of drinking artisan coffee. I need one soon as I’ve nearly finished abusing that fucking Occupational fucking therapist.

  15. Posted by The Editor... January 3, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    1 – Tesco owns all of Dobbies.
    2 – McDonalds no longer owns any of Pret and hasn’t for sometime.

  16. Posted by Aunt Bessie January 4, 2013 at 8:24 am

    3- Tesco owns Tesco extra and Tesco Mobile.

  17. Posted by Simon January 4, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Confirms my thoughts that all guardian readers are cunts

  18. Posted by Dick January 4, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Seems like a good business model. Pick a couple of random names, make it look independent and get the tesco-haters in. They’ll have to make sure they pick different names for other towns, so that it doesn’t appear to be a chain.

  19. Posted by Ricky lady January 4, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Harris & Hoole opening in Rickmansworth has upset locals and caused quite a backlash in town. Mostly people have only been informed via Twitter and when you ask staff if they are owned by Tesco that don’t deny but it is painful getting a answer. I just think it is there approach that has upset people.

  20. Posted by Raggedy January 7, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    I’ve been shopping at a large supermarket which is just round the corner from me for some considerable time. Imagine my shock, horror and disappointment to discover that Tesco Extra is actually owned by Tesco!

    I feel soiled, hoodwinked and deceived. It’s like that feeling you get after a drunken one night stand except I’m not grinning for hours.

  21. Posted by Gabriella January 9, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Good for Tesco. It is good they will ensure that Costa and Starbuck’s get a run for their money and Caffe Nero. Remember Caffe Nero and Starbuck’s don’t pay corporate tax at least Tesco and Costa (Whitbread) do.

  22. Posted by Gabriella January 9, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    And yes Tesco own Dobbies Garden Centre but like Harris and Hoole they are independently run and both are thriving.

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  24. Posted by phil October 23, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    I applied for a job at the new one opening in my local tescos, went to the interveiw gave them every single hour of the week (6am till 10pm) full time and said i can work all the hours in sundays only day i left off was the saturday, oh sorry were wasting your time need people who can work all weekend! They already mentioned that they have staff already working there and the audition room had enough school kids who can only work on weekends to run it! After ive put myself out to work any potentially ungodly hour and they go o sorry your wasting your time, fuck em i will refuse to buy any thing from them and i refuse to work for them even if they decide to get back into contact!

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