Q. First of all, introduce yourselves and your business…

J: I’m Josef Bailey and I own The Quarter, a café, bistro and bar, on Piccadilly along with my wife Annmarie. We’re open from 8am ‘til late, six days a week, serving up breakfast, lunch, brunch, and a quirky home-style bistro menu for dinner, together with a large take-away menu! Whether you’re after a relaxing cuppa and a cake, or a three-course meal washed down with premium cocktails, we cater for all audiences. We play host to live music and entertainment regularly too.

Why did you start your business?

J: Piccadilly is bustling nowadays with independent business – particularly as new cocktail bar Bloom has opened and the much-loved Italian restaurant, Bella Napoli has relocated here, which is just fantastic to see – but prior to our opening, we thought it had a food establishment shaped hole which we hoped we could fill. We felt we had something a little different to bring to the table, to meet the culinary, drinking and entertainment needs to the city and beyond.

A: Opening a café had been my dream for over 20 years. I adore cuisine and so my family and I have spent a lot of time travelling around the world, sampling different dishes and atmospheres, which has heavily influenced our decision to open The Quarter. It took a while for us to find the perfect location, but when we came across the Piccadilly venue, right in the heart of Stoke-on-Trent city centre’s Cultural Quarter, we knew it was time to just go for it!

Q. What’s the best thing about being an independent business owner?

A. Too many to mention! We feel incredibly very lucky to have a 32-strong team that share our passion and values, and they all work tremendously hard to give our customers the very best experience.

J: Our customers themselves are another reason why we do what we do; whether they’re trying The Quarter for the first time, or they’re seasoned regulars, the glowing feedback never fails to bring a smile to our faces.

And the worst?

A: As any business owner can tell you, it’s hard work! Especially in the beginning when we spent every waking moment of the first three months renovating, renovating, renovating. However, the early mornings and the late nights are completely worth it when you love what you do, like we do!

How important is it to support independent businesses?

J: Very! As an indie business ourselves, we make it a priority to source local ingredients wherever we can – not only does that mean we can prepare fresher dishes, we’re keeping the money in our local economy to help it to thrive. Plus, our cake selection is always stocked by TSP, an incredible local baking company – check them out!

A: It’s great to support independents as they bring something a little different to an area and lots of personality and quirkiness, but it’s important to note that without the support of our customers, we wouldn’t be here. We also have the freedom to try new things and make our own rules so we’re always happy to take on board any comments and suggestions from our customers!

J: Since opening we have always endeavoured to help the community utilise our space for free and this commitment to the surrounding areas is so vital in driving interest, diversity and footfall into the town centre.  We support new businesses, entrepreneurs and community groups by providing a safe environment for them to explore their passions and ideas and continue to do so.  It is a growing part of our business ethos and further builds our foundation as an integral independent in Hanley.

What does the future have in store for The Quarter?

J: When we first opened 3 years ago, the initial identity of The Quarter was to be a café. However, the venue and our offering has snowballed into something much bigger; a bistro, a coffee shop, a events venue, a cocktail bar AND a stage for the best local musicians and artists.  We also have a huge catering business that provides corporate food for lots of local businesses which has further grown our brand in the city.  We have exciting plans taking place to expand our little QUARTER empire and have just signed for a mobile food vehicle which will be used at festivals and private events and we’re on the hunt for a second venue so any requests for location are welcome! We’re over the moon with the success of The Quarter and hope to continue down this path, dishing up good food and serving up cocktails to our lovely customers for many more years to come!




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