Founded by the former managing director of SALT brewery, hubb opened its first site in Halifax in August to rave reviews. Nadir Zairi has now collaborated with his former employer to open his second hubb counter inside the brewery’s East Parade bar, now serving cold brew and specialty coffee, as well as thick-cut sandwiches and sweet treats.
Nadir fell in love with cold brew coffee while travelling in the Middle East and America. The beans are brewed cold for up to 24 hours to achieve a sweeter and less bitter taste, and hubb then infuses the coffee with nitrogen for an even creamier finish.
Nadir told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I saw it was a very young market in the UK and it’s a product I really like, so I decided to go for the challenge and launch a cold brew coffee brand.
“It’s more accessible, more mellow and it’s growing in popularity. We infuse the cold brew coffee with nitrogen - like how you pour a pint of Guinness. It cascades and results in a sweeter and much more creamy coffee.
“The feedback has been absolutely amazing so far, overwhelmingly positive. We hope we have a keen eye for branding and aesthetics, and also really high standards of product. I think people are really enjoying the products and the cold brew side of the business, which is a big USP for us.”
SALT’s East Parade venue has been refurbished to create a dedicated space for hubb, and its opening hours extended into the morning - which Nadir said reflects the changing nature of the hospitality industry.
He added: “What we tried to create at SALT is venues that have something for everyone - super open with great attention to detail in terms of the interior design. Being in the central Leeds location, it’s a great platform to hopefully grow our brand. It’s a really natural synergy as it’s a company that I have a lot of love for.
“You can come in for a coffee at 8am or a cocktail at 1am. I’ve discussed the changing nature of socialising with the owner of SALT. More people are moderating their drinking or not drinking at all, so coffee bars are becoming a great place to socialise in. This is the perfect venue to do everything.
“The more I got into coffee, the more coffee started to become such an important part of my day. A lot of people have been through that same journey, it’s all centred around the beverage but there’s so many things that can happen around it, whether that’s meeting friends, having a business meeting or being with family. I fell in love with all those interactions that happen around coffee.”
The next step for hubb is the launch of cold brew coffee cans, which Nadir hopes to sell across the country, and he’d love to have more venues.
“You have freedom with running a business,” Nadir added
"You’re driven to do something that you love - that’s where any business should start out. That comes extra stresses, the long nights and the long days, but doing something that you love, and having the freedom to try anything, they’re the two things that really drive me.”