Surprised commuters enjoyed a journey of indulgence and wellbeing in Nottingham Station last Friday as newly-opened artisan bakery/speciality coffee roaster, CAWA.
Passengers were treated to free therapeutic massages, fresh pastries, coffees and meditative journaling via their welcoming relaxation haven ‘PLATFORM U’ — a serene space for travellers to sit, reflect and enjoy a moment of calm.
Accommodating one commuter at a time, PLATFORM U is a space of tranquility that boasts a sumptuous Chesterfield armchair, homely carpeting, a beautiful wild orchid, a charging bay for mobile devices, and if visitors wish, a therapeutic over-the-clothes back, neck and shoulder massage.
Described as “the world’s comfiest platform” by one visitor, PLATFORM U reflects the B.E.A.N.S promise CAWA committed to in 2017 when they opened their first shop in Sheffield.
“Our B.E.A.N.S promise is shorthand for Beyond Expectations & Nicely Surprising — a philosophy that guides everything we do,” says Galyna Hayat, CAWA co-founder.
“Whether it’s our lavish butter croissants, the luxurious real chocolate in every mocha or the secret blend of our speciality coffee, since day one, we’ve been uncompromising in our desire to make extraordinary coffee and exceptional pastries accessible to everyone.”
With five shops now open across the UK, Nottingham is the first to introduce the PLATFORM U experience, and with good reason, explains Hayat.
“For obvious economic reasons, Britain has a lot on its mind at the moment, and in my experience, documenting my feelings, thoughts, concerns and ideas has always proved helpful,” she smiles, as she discusses the elegant PLATFORM U journal, where everyday thoughts and musings can be left by visitors.
“And of course, over the years, Nottingham has produced many famous writers,” Hayat continues, “Including D.H. Lawrence and Byron, so where better to introduce our CAWA journal than right here?”
Among the poignant entries written in the journal, one visitor wrote, ‘Very timely. I have pains and stiffness in my right arm and the massage really helped. Even the tension in my neck has been reduced. Thank you so much.’
Mary from Kent, who travelled to Nottingham for a special family occasion, wrote, ‘Wonderful memories. Wonderful massage. Made us feel very welcome,” later telling the CAWA team, “My Granddaughter graduated yesterday from the University of Nottingham. It was the most memorable occasion — a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The massage made me feel like a new woman. I’m going back to Kent ready to tackle anything. Age is just a number.”
In a final twist for passing commuters, CAWA welcomed special VIP guest The Sheriff of Nottingham, Councillor Nicola Heaton, who visited the station to cut the CAWA ribbon and experience PLATFORM U for herself. Speaking afterwards, Sheriff said, “The chair is really deep, comfortable and lovely to relax in. What an oasis this coffee shop is to the station. I had an iced latte and the biggest croissant I ever saw. it was delicious.”
Touched by the emotional lift PLATFORM U gave its visitors, CAWA will re-open the experience this Friday 19 August between 09:00 and 12:00.
“We’re deeply moved by the warmth visitors have expressed,” says Galyna. “In truth, we created PLATFORM U as a single day treat, but now, given the happy hormones it sparked, we have no option but to welcome more visitors to our humble little haven of serenity.”
PLATFORM U will re-open this Friday 19 August between 09:00 and 12:00. Find it next to CAWA’s shop in Nottingham train station.
10-minute slots can be enjoyed on a first-come-first-surprised basis by anyone with a valid train ticket travelling in or out of Nottingham train station. Complimentary coffees, pastries and therapeutic massages are available to all PLATFORM U visitors.