Pudsey woman quit her job on a whim to set up booming coffee shop with her Hinge match

A Pudsey woman has told how she totally transformed her life in little over a year after quitting her job as a teacher to run her own coffee shop.

When Ella Kiernan-Firth, 25, of Pudsey, in Leeds, started dating Ryan Wade, 27, in April last year the couple quickly bonded over their shared love of coffee.

After “joking” about what it would be like to run their own coffee shop, Ella had a “f*** it moment” and decided to make her business dreams a reality.

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She quit her job as a teacher, and both she and Ryan invested savings into setting up their very own coffee shop.

In July this year the couple opened Bean & Gone Espresso Bar on Pudsey high street – which Ella now runs full-time, while Ryan helps out as much as he can while still working for a pharmaceutical company.

Speaking to Leeds Live , Ella said: “Ryan and I met during lockdown on Hinge, and it was classic lockdown dating.

“We went for lots of walks and got on amazingly well. We both love coffee so we’d visit different coffee shops all around Leeds, we’d go to Farsley, Horsforth and Chapel Allerton.

“It all started as a bit of a joke, we were sat one day chatting about what we’d call our coffee shop if we ever had one, and Ryan said ‘Bean and Gone’ which I thought was great.

“And then, we just had a f*** it moment and thought, ‘Why not just do it?’.”

Ella and Ryan at the opening of the coffee shop

From there, Ella and Ryan begun putting a business plan together and looking at potential locations for their business.

“I live in Pudsey and I thought there was a gap in market for a new coffee shop,” she said. “After lockdown there was so many empty units on the high street, so I felt like it needed a new, fresh place for people to visit.”

Within a matter of months, the couple secured their venue and Ella quit her job as a teacher to run the shop full-time.

“I’d been thinking about leaving my job for a while, so when this opportunity came up I just went for it,” Ella said.

“It all happened so fast, it was a bit crazy, we’d look at the unit and think, ‘Is this actually ours?’.”

After spending some months refurbishing the premises, learning the ropes of running a coffee shop and hiring staff the couple were ready to open Bean & Gone on July 19 – Freedom Day, which saw Covid-19 lockdown restrictions relaxed.

Ella chose a sleek and minimalistic design for the Bean & Gone Espresso Bar interiors

“It was great that it opened on Freedom Day,” she said. “It’s been manic, but the response to the shop has been great.

“I thought Pudsey needed something like this, and it’s good to see people think the same thing and are really enjoying the coffee.”

The sleek coffee shop with a modern minimalistic design, offers a small yet satisfying menu of food and high quality coffee.

“Our menu is small, but what we do do, we do it really well – like our bagels,” she said. “And our coffee comes from Rounton Coffee in Northallerton which is amazing high quality coffee and customers can really tell the difference.”

And looking back, Ella still can’t quite believe how much her life has changed over the last 18 months.

She said: “I think for a lot of people lockdown gave people time to reconsider things and make changes.

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“I think a lot of people might sit in a coffee shop and think, ‘How good would it be to actually own this?’ but not everyone does it.

“I love being my own boss, most of my family are self-employed so I think it’s in my genes.

“But I’ve loved changing out of my comfort zone, we’re still learning but we’ve worked with some amazing people along the way who have really helped us.”

Ella certainly has no regrets about taking the plunge and setting up her own business and only has high hopes for the future.

“I wasn’t the best coffee maker a year ago, but I’ve had training now and we have an amazing head barista too,” she said. “We’ve definitely had doubts along the way and felt like, ‘What are we doing?’

“But we’ve thrown ourselves in the deep end, so we’re making sure we swim.”

To find out more about Bean & Gone visit Facebook and Instagram.

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