A Family Owned Coffee Shop

We believe in community, family and supporting small local businesses

Phixx is an independent coffee shop based on Skinnergate in Darlington which is run by husband and wife Chris and Amy Alderson, alongside a small team of fantastic friendly staff.

The Birth of Phixx

After practically running the place in my last job and getting no recognition I felt I could do better being my own boss, and have the experience knowing how to treat my staff where they would enjoy coming to work.  So, after scouring the market for potential businesses to purchase, we thought we found the perfect place. It was all set up for just taking over and running it as our own. I even did a trial shift to get used to how the current owner ran the place.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be as the current leaseholder didn’t have a new lease in place for the new owner, so we decided it was best to pull out.  The business then closed down, leaving the property vacant. So, we went direct to the landlord and asked for a lease. After going back and forth with solicitors we again thought it wasn’t going to happen and even viewed other potential properties to rent instead. But at the back of our mind 83 Skinnergate was still the perfect set up to get us started and 6 months later we finally signed the lease on the place.

Having had 6 months to think, plan, decide everything…the important decision was the name. Trust me, we thought of everything possible. Googled it and it already existed, whether it was in the UK or the US, or worldwide, we wanted a name which wasn’t already out there.  Suddenly the name ‘fix’, or ‘Phixx’ came to mind and I thought ooh that’s catchy but Chris probably won’t like it… but much to my amazement he did… so it was between ‘Phixx’, and ‘Home’, (geddit? going ‘home’ for a cuppa’) or ‘House of coffee’. We did a poll on Facebook with family and friends and it was literally split, so since we preferred Phixx…. Phixx was born.

Phixx Coffee Lounge and car, Darlington
Phixx Coffee Lounge and car, Darlington

Phixx Coffee Lounge

Everyone needs their coffee ‘Phixx’ but we didn’t know a lot about coffee, so we researched where we could learn and came across ‘Limini Coffee’ based in Cleckheaton. 

We decided to make a weekend of it since we didn’t know when our next weekend off was going to be.

We Went to the Experts

The experts there taught us everything about coffee machines, coffee grinders, coffee beans, frothing milk, and latte art. We tasted various samples, picked our own blend and named it…. ‘Phixx’ of course.  (by the way did I forget to mention I hated coffee, even the smell of it, all my life up until about 5 years ago when I was tired at work and someone said they had coffee in the cupboard I could drink.

Never looked back since, although none of this crappy instant stuff for me anymore….  My late nana, a self-proclaimed coffee lover would be so proud of me if she knew I owned a coffee shop, considering I remember saying ‘I could never work in a coffee shop cos I can’t stand the smell’).

Phixx Coffee Lounge Opens

So, we had the property, the coffee knowledge, and the know how…what next?  Oh yeah, the opening…

Phixx Coffee Shop Darlington
Phixx Coffee Shop Darlington

So Phixx was officially opened on October 12th 2019

Our motto upon opening which will stay with us forever is “Don’t get your global fix, get your local Phixx” …. meaning don’t go to all these globally branded coffee shops on the Highstreet, when you can visit independent local coffee shops like ourselves to get your coffee fix.  You will get a more personal experience coming to us.

Get to know us

We will learn your name; we will learn all about you and chat to you each visit… unlike the global coffee shops where you’re just a number who they want in and out as fast as they can to free up tables.  At Phixx, you are welcome to stay as long as you like – we even do coffee refills for £1.  This is because we don’t want to compromise the taste of our coffee by adding extra water or milk to make it large. We would rather serve good quality coffee in one size, and only charge £1 for a second cup.

I spent the 6 months leading up to getting the lease practising baking. Every week when hubby came home from sleeping in the wagon all week, there was a new cake to sample… don’t get me wrong the recipes I tried haven’t all made it to the counter in Phixx but a lot have.  All home made from scratch, from scones, brownies, cakes, gluten free cakes, dairy free cakes… we try to cater for every dietary requirement but especially the sugar addicts.

Bakes and Cakes – Daily

We bake and prepare our scones and cakes on a daily basis to make sure our customers are getting the freshest goods for their money. If you are in early enough you might get the scones straight from the oven where you can watch the butter melt as you spread it.

During lockdown a fellow local business approached us to provide cakes to the NHS Key workers, every week for 3-4 weeks.  We used this opportunity to start selling our mixed boxes of brownies and cakes and deliver them for a small charge to all local areas.  These boxes proved to be unbelievably popular during covid_19 lockdown, and are still proving popular since reopening.

Phixx is a local independent coffee shop based in Darlington. Alongside our own branded Phixx Coffee, we sell homemade cakes, scones, and brownies. We also sell a lighter lunch option of toasted paninis, soups, and teacakes. As well as bacon and sausages sandwiches. These can all be eaten in or taken away. Why not pop in, have a coffee and a bite to eat while taking advantage of our free WIFI

Amy

So, after 15+ years working in bars, hospitals, and cafes and coming home feeling stressed and fed up, Chris decided I might be a lot happier running my own coffee shop and being my own boss. Less than a year later, Phixx was opened. I work all day, every day, front of house and behind the scenes baking all the goodies we have on the counter.


Chris

Hi my name is Chris and I own Phixx Coffee Lounge with my better half Amy. I’m a wagon driver as well as one of the owners. After too many years in the transport industry i decided I wanted to be my own boss. I mainly work behind the scenes but every so often I pop up in the shop, if ya see a big bald guy… that’s me.