Evolution5 was the main contractor for developing the Bristol-based coffee shop of Origin Coffee – a B Corp speciality coffee roaster with sustainability at its core. The design was high-specification and bespoke, reflecting the brand’s independent and quality-driven identity.

Evolution5 used our experience of retail developments to take an adaptive approach to the client and designer’s requirements to support them in fully renovating and launching their new retail unit in just three months.

Project overview and requirements

Origin Coffee approached Evolution5 to support their development of a new coffee shop in Bristol following a referral from Teals Farm Stores, another client of Evolution5’s, and a shop where Origin Coffee supplied sustainable coffee.

The project was a small coffee shop fit-out – also referred to as a developer shell or a landlord unit. The unit located in the heart of Bristol was an empty shell measuring approximately 180 square metres. The project requirement was a complete installation involving training rooms, tech room, meeting room, front and back bar areas, customer area, and restroom.

The Evolution5 project team

Glenn Obstancias, Construction Director at Evolution5, headed up the project, bringing his extensive retail background and expertise, including specific experience with coffee shops.

Evolution5 also deployed a site manager, a project manager, and an assistant project manager.

The Evolution5 approach

Firstly, Evolution5 conducted a scoping visit to meet with the client, the architect and designer, and their project team onsite to understand their requirements and vision.


“We were able to assist and advise on buildability and what would make it easier to build and bring the cost down, so there was an element of Value Engineering to save the client money at the preconstruction stage.”
Glenn Obstancias Construction Director at Evolution5


We then built a price based on that scoping visit and issued a cost plan to the client, which was then amended accordingly, following the client’s questions and feedback. When the cost plan was agreed upon, the client sent us a letter of consent to get started.

The project was completed in thirteen weeks, taking into account some mechanical and electrical delays due to changes in the plans, and some variations made at the end for the client.

Specific challenges and considerations

The project had some unusual and original design features requiring bespoke products and artisan trades.

Evolution5 fulfilled everything the client wanted, even with a very short lead in time, having been instructed just two weeks before starting on site.

Specific challenges and considerations included:

  • Spanish terracotta floor tiling in the customer area and artisan lime wash plaster wall finishes.
  • Bespoke lighting.
  • Spanish mosaic tiles throughout the tech and meeting rooms.
  • Incomplete mechanical and electrical design and the need to find an M&E contractor that could quickly support the project and commit to doing the job.
  • Custom floor tiles with only one supplier and the need for materials to be imported from Spain.
  • Speciality plaster work with only one contractor capable of delivering the work.
  • A painting and decorating process called Bauwerk, a German product that could only be purchased from Germany.

Notable wins and project successes

Because the project depended upon many artisan trades and products that our team hadn’t worked with before, securing the subcontractor supply chain and procuring the materials and specified products was challenging, especially in such a short time.

And, due to the unusual nature of some products, they weren’t suppliers that we had existing accounts with, meaning many materials had to be paid for upfront.

The project demonstrated how Evolution5 could balance finances with challenging lead-in times, speciality products, and artisan trades.

Lessons learned

Ensuring that the client’s design team has everything in place with the full design agreed upon and signed off before work commences helps to ensure the smooth running of a project onsite and is essential for keeping to timescales.

Striking a balance between trying to be as accommodating as possible whilst assisting and guiding the client through the process and drawing a line under variations to work from a complete and correct design.

If you have a construction project and would like to explore how the team can help you, click the button below or call 023 8040 5073.