The TrueStart Energy Hub

Recently, Simon and I proudly opened TrueStart’s first permanent café bar, a wild for life eatery in the heart of Bristol’s city centre, known as The TrueStart Energy Hub. This is part of an exciting collaboration with the fantastic new startup co-working space, Runway East. This is a dream come true for us, and hopefully the first of many.

But how did it come about? That’s a good question and the answer lies in what happened in a whirlwind 7 days in 2018, which will go down in history as one of the craziest weeks at TrueStart HQ to date. And that’s saying something!

As members of Runway East, we’ve been really excited about their brand new co-working space here in Bristol. They have a community vibe that startups thrive within, and we’ve been extra excited as we’re their official coffee supplier. Exactly one week before opening, Runway East offered us the opportunity to own and run the café within this new space. In typical TrueStart style, Simon and I decided to dive in – with baby Leo overseeing the whole thing!

Simon getting Leo up to speed on how the till works...

David Foreman, GM at Runway East Bristol said “TrueStart Coffee first joined Runway East Bristol as members and as we try to support our startups any way we can, naturally we instantly switched all the free coffee we provide for our members to TrueStart Coffee. When we recently needed to find a new operator of the cafeteria, we were absolutely delighted when TrueStart Coffee jumped at the opportunity. For us we could not think of anything better than having a Runway East member play such an important role in running the central hub in our community here and Simon and Helena pulled out all the stops to not only open on time, but do an EPIC job of it.” 

You know when something feels right, and there was something Simon and I found strangely calming about making The TrueStart Energy Hub happen. I think it’s because we’ve always had a vision of what this would look like and be like, we’ve just never had the opportunity to actually do it. Once we’d made the decision, fitting the place out was a piece of cake (avocado and courgette cake, since you ask). And with the whole Runway East team behind us, it was also really, really fun.

The Energy Hub is a game-changer and shows what can happen if you take every opportunity that you are offered. We’re now on both sides of the table as a retailer and a supplier and have a direct line to our customers all day, every day. We’re so proud to be bringing our healthy, hyper-sustainable coffee brand into our own space, building on the success of a vibrant young brand that is now available in local shops and healthy food stores both nationwide and internationally.

So, what’s on the menu at the TrueStart Energy Hub? Obviously Cold Brew and Specialty Coffee, supported by a rainbow of vegan superfood lattes that include bright orange turmeric, green spirulina and pink pitaya. Those with a sweet tooth are in syrup heaven thanks to the Bristol Syrup Co.


We have a range of stunning organic loose leaf specialty teas, sourced by my very own Mum and tea expert extraordinaire, Pippa Simmons. My favourites include Fruits of the Forest, Rooibos and Bourbon Vanilla, Lemon Peel + Lemongrass Black Tea and Chinese Rose Congou.

We’ve teamed up with The Wilde Kitchen to offer beautiful, mostly organic, locally sourced nutritionist-backed food that is fresh, healthy and seriously yummy.

One of our lunch platters before it was completely devoured!

The food menu is primarily plant-based, with lunches like Asian Noodle Satay Salad with Ginger Tofu and seasonal options such as ‘Go Fig’ – our Fig and Beetroot Salad Bowl.

Organic Coconut & Chia Overnight Oats & Vanilla Coconut Cold Brew #matchmadeinheaven

We're integrating a sustainable way of working from the start, with biodegradable plant-derived packaging everywhere possible, and recycling where it's not. Our used coffee grounds are being bagged up for members to take home free of charge - to use however they like! Used coffee grounds make a great fertiliser and I love using them as an ingredient in body scubs.

One of the things I’m most looking forward to is discovering other cool new food and drink brands and showcasing them in our space.

Once the Bristol café has established itself successfully, Simon and I look forward to taking the TrueStart Energy Hub across the country!

You'll be able to see what's on at the TrueStart Energy Hub by following @truestartcoffee on Instagram.

If you’re in Bristol’s city centre and want to pop in and say hi, let us know! The café is for members of Runway East but we would be delighted to welcome you as a guest. If you’re nowhere near, look out for TrueStart’s wild for life coffee in a quality shop, café, bar or restaurant near you – and if you can’t find it, ask your favourite local stockist to look us up at truestartcoffee.com!

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  • As usual, you’ve risen to the occasion and done it in style! Congratulations. I’m sure it will fly.

    Noreen Finnamore
  • Good luck and perfect location (for me) only round the corner. ☕

    David Underwood
  • Hi Helena & Simon,

    So pleased for you……….I genuinely hope that once the concept is working above your expectations that you’ll endeavour to partner and franchise the concept. In the end, Food-On-The-Go industry has to go through a health revolution. The industry doesn’t want to do, and it 2 weeks, you’ve shown them what to do! Good Luck! Casper


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