The Suffolk Jungle Room is an independent coffee shop in rural England that also showcases and sells house plants. The owners Sam and Tony have recently decided to start accepting Bitcoin payments and they kindly accepted to answer a few questions about their experience. In this interview they tell us why they decided to adopt Bitcoin and what it brings to their business and the local community.
To begin with, could you introduce us to your business?
I’m Sam and I run The Suffolk Jungle Room alongside my Fiancé Tony. We opened last year in February 2022. The concept is a Café which offers great quality food alongside a retail offer of houseplants which fill the Café floor to ceiling. Our customers are greeted by a beautiful setting to enjoy their food and drinks and have time to sit amongst the plants. This leads to sales of houseplants supported by advice/suggestions from our knowledgeable team.
What is your Bitcoin story?
I started dating Tony back in October 2020. He had already started his Bitcoin story thanks to his brother Daniel Prince (Host of the Once Bitten Podcast) and he had a couple of brief conversations with me about it, which caught my attention. However, when Tony and I opened The Suffolk Jungle Room in February 2022, Daniel started talking to us regularly about taking merchant payments which just made perfect sense.
We already had a casual interest in Bitcoin, the kind of people who were open to it and understanding of its benefits to a degree but we were definitely ready to progress this both personally and through our business. Having a family member such as Daniel is also particularly helpful! Those first conversations of the basics can be quite intimidating to start with people who are very knowledgeable, it can be tough to ask the “beginner” basics! We had great support from Daniel and then moving forward from CoinCorner who supported us with a Point of Sale system for the Café and a regular supply of Bolt cards!
When did you start accepting Bitcoin payments?
We started accepting Bitcoin payments in April 2022. CoinCorner sent us the POS system a month later, which streamlined the whole process for us. We had previously been using an iPhone to take the payments, which could occasionally be glitchy, but the point of sale means we can offer either option of scanning a QR code, or tapping with a Bolt Card with no issues. We report all of our sales through our regular till system, and the CoinCorner account we have keeps track of our transactions. Having the support from CoinCorner has been important to us, there is always someone on hand to help at all times should it be needed.
What made you decide to take that step?
We realised very quickly that there was a whole group of customers who wanted to pay with Bitcoin and it was important for us to be able to facilitate that. We often say it’s similar to catering for someone who chooses to be a vegan. We cater for the way they choose to manage their diet so why would we not wish to provide for someone who manages their finances differently? It’s all about choice and ensuring we respect all of our customers choices as best we can. Our personal interest in Bitcoin also means that we are stacking sats in a different way, via our business.
How did your employees react to your decision to use Bitcoin? Are you using any specific material to help them learn about it?
Our employees are all very keen on learning more, and during our bi-monthly Suffolk Bitcoin meet-ups they get involved with the attendees and increase their own knowledge. One of our weekend employees who was only 17 downloaded a Muun Wallet so he could accept tips in BTC! We also gave him a Bolt Card loaded with Bitcoin for his Christmas gift! Our staff see it working in real life, people buying coffees and lunches with Bitcoin and it just becomes the norm for them to accept those transactions.
Has Bitcoin had a positive impact on your business since you started accepting Bitcoin payments?
An incredibly positive impact. We’ve had press interest including a news report on BBC Look East which was filmed here in the Café and numerous newspaper articles. We are more active on Twitter and are overwhelmed with the support we get from Bitcoiners who travel miles to come and spend their sats with us.
Is there a local Bitcoin community around your area?
Suffolk Bitcoin hold their regular meet-up here on the last Sunday of the month (bimonthly) and we have customers we would certainly call “regulars” who pay with Bitcoin.
How many Bitcoin payments would you say you take each month?
We currently take between 20-30 Bitcoin payments per month and we see an increase in this monthly.
Do you advertise the fact that you accept Bitcoin payment options?
We make it very clear on our social media that we accept Bitcoin payments, and we shout about it a lot online. We also have some items in the Café including a fantastic 3D printer Bolt Card holder our friend Ben Weeks made for us!
Finally, what advice would you give to businesses that are interested in using Bitcoin?
Take the jump. It makes perfect sense and Bitcoin adoption is only going one way. Get ahead of the game now, particularly if you’re in tough industries such as hospitality.
- The Suffolk’s Jungle Room Website and Twitter
- Once Bitten Podcast by Daniel Prince
- About CoinCorner and the Bolt Card
- Find businesses which accept Bitcoin in your area on btcmap.org
- Find out about community events in the UK at bitcoinevents.uk
If you’re a small business accepting or interested in adopting Bitcoin, or have any questions or comments please get in touch with us on Twitter or send us an email at: email@example.com
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