They say ice (cream) is the window to the soul. By those standards, Soul Coffee’s locally-made gelato is utterly soul-bearing. The gelato is made by an Italian family in the North West – exclusively for the independent coffee shop. A
nd, they still use the same recipe from 1931 when their Granddad came over from Italy. I like to imagine they’re kind of like the Dolmio puppet family. (When’sa your gelato day?)
The coffee is also Italian-approval-worthy. The brews are provided by Heart & Graft, a company born out of the desire for better, more specialist coffees in Manchester. And boy, have they delivered.
The owner, Moj, has considered the coffee shop’s local footprint, and makes a conscious effort to support independents like themselves.
The name, very effectively tells passers-by everything they need to know. But if you’ve still not clocked on, Marvin Gaye’s 6-foot face should give you a clue about the soul theme to the coffee shop.
The mural is by local artist Akse; you’ve seen his work in the form of Arya Stark on the outhouse, or Princess Leia at Projekts Skatepark. At the misfortune of absolutely everyone, no other place has a soul-theme in Manchester, and Moj (rightfully) believes it should be something that is championed, especially regarding Manchester’s rich music history.
Moj wants to bridge the gap between Ancoats and the Northern Quarter. Great Ancoats Street seems like an anomaly in the middle of the great businesses that surround it on either side of the road.
Soul Coffee is the beginning of a very promising facelift for Great Ancoats Street – Moj is hopeful that it will pioneer its rejuvenation. And no better way to kickstart it, with daily dessert-porn in Manchester’s most soulful spot.
Soul Coffee is open now.