SHE has gone from driving her restored VW campervan around Scotland to festival and events with her speciality coffee to setting up her own café and roastery.

Now Catherine Franks, founder of Steampunk in North Berwick, will be among the exhibitors taking part in the Glasgow Coffee Festival in May which returns for the first time in two years.

She had been due to attend the event in 2020 but when it was cancelled due to the pandemic and she didn’t even ask festival founder Lisa Lawson, of Glasgow's Dear Green Coffee, for her money back as she was confident that one day it would go ahead.

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The seventh annual Glasgow festival will be held indoors for the first time in two years following pandemic disruption.

And this time organiser and founder Ms Lawson says event will help put Glasgow’s vibrant coffee scene on the international map.


Catherine Franks, of Steampunk, is heading to the Glasgow Coffee Festival

Catherine Franks, of Steampunk, is heading to the Glasgow Coffee Festival


More than 40 exhibitors, including Steampunk, will show off what makes Glasgow’s coffee scene one of the UK’s best and with sustainability in mind, festival will be entirely free of single use cups.

Taking place at the Briggait, the two-day speciality coffee event, produced by Dear Green Coffee Roasters, will be held indoors following a two-year spell outdoors.

The former fish market hall will host coffee professionals from across the country who will showcase their products, skills and passion to thousands of coffee lovers on May 7 and 8.

Mossgiel Organic Farm, Modern Standard, Bare Bones and Faodail Roastery are amongst more than 20 businesses who have already signed-up to be involved – with registrations still open.

Ms Franks has parked up her VW campervan for the time being and has been concentrating on Steampunk roastery and café in North Berwick. She says she is looking forward to joining the growing coffee community in Glasgow.

“We’ve be to the festival as visitors, but this will be a first for us as exhibitors,” said Ms Franks, originally from Washington DC. “We are celebrating our 10th anniversary of roasting our own coffee which I started doing from my garage before we moved to current premises in North Berwick.

“We are quite lucky where we are as we are in a holiday town and have a lot of day trippers and town is a bit of a magnate for people, but I think coming to Glasgow it will be a great atmosphere and we look forward to serving our coffee and people trying it.”

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Glasgow Coffee Festival founder Ms Lawson believes this year’s event provides a platform for Glasgow’s coffee scene to stand up and be counted among the world’s best.

She said: “In Scotland we can often be seen as the underdogs but we should be rightfully proud of the community of coffee professionals who are driving coffee standards forward locally. The skill of our ever-increasing community of roasters and baristas should be celebrated as being on par with some of the best in the world.

“It’s dramatic to see the change since I launched Dear Green in 2011. I love seeing more and more new speciality coffee businesses opening and the industry growing. Bringing us all together under one roof really does showcase how far we have all come. With the festival selling out each year it also proves how much Scotland loves great coffee.”


Lisa Lawson, Hannah Davies and Zsofia Zubay

Lisa Lawson, Hannah Davies and Zsofia Zubay


This year, she has drafted in support from Hannah Davies, founder of the Manchester Coffee Festival and Cup North, an organisation committed to the development of the speciality coffee industry in the UK.

“Manchester and Glasgow have a lot in common, so it’s been great to watch the coffee scene in Glasgow go from strength to strength, just as Manchester has. I’m excited to work with Lisa to create an amazing celebration of coffee which attracts people from across the UK," said Ms Davies.

“The great thing about people in coffee is, for the most part, they are all about celebrating and supporting each other and building each other up. That’s why I’m proud to be part of an event like this which makes coffee more accessible and helps to grow a vibrant community.”

The festival’s mission is to help to celebrate Scotland’s coffee scene while encouraging coffee drinkers to swap their visit to a big chain for a coffee served in a local coffee shop, which serves coffee roasted by a local roaster, and directly supports the local economy.

This will be the seventh year of the Glasgow Coffee Festival. In 2018, it became the first coffee festival in the world to ban disposable cups.


Modern Standard Coffee has a base in Glenrothes and a cafe in Edinburghs Bruntsfield area

Modern Standard Coffee has a base in Glenrothes and a cafe in Edinburgh's Bruntsfield area


In 2020, it took to the streets for the very first time, in a bid to encourage Glaswegians to visit local, independent businesses during the pandemic. This year the festival combines both concepts with the return to the Briggait over two days and the festival again encouraging consumers to support local businesses over a two-week period for deals and discounts in all of their favourite coffee spots.

Lynsey Harley, founder of Modern Standard Coffee, returned to her roots in more ways than one when she went into the coffee business.

She set up the roastery when she was still based in London. After working in accountancy she changed career to become a barista, a job she had had at university, it then led to her starting her own firm.


Lynsey Harley, founder of Modern Standard Coffee, will be among the exhibitors at the festival

Lynsey Harley, founder of Modern Standard Coffee, will be among the exhibitors at the festival


Ms Harley, from Fife, is among five per cent of roastery owners in the country who are female, made a bold move in 2019 when she decided to relocate her business from London back to her home town.

“I made the decision to move the business to Glenrothes and amazingly most of my staff came with me,” said Ms Harley who has just signed a deal to supply their brand to supermarket giant Tesco. “It was best decision we could have made and six of my staff agreed to come as well. We set up the roastery and supply to wholesale and consumers. We then had the opportunity to open our first café in Edinburgh which has been great to get the name out there.

“I’m looking forward to coming to Glasgow and you never know where it might lead. Lisa has done a great job with the festival and the coffee scene in Scotland has come a long away in 10 years.”

Who will be at Glasgow Coffee Festival?

Andina Coffee
Bare Bones Chocolate 

Brew It 

Group Caribbean Goods 

Coffee Bean 

Culture Dear Green
Faodail Roastery Glebe 

Farm Foods Gordon St
Indy Coffee Guide 

Mission Coffee Works Modern Standard Mossgiel
Santu Coffee
Speckled Grey 

Design Steampunk
The Gatehouse U-Roast 


La Marzocco Story Shop


Falcon Specialty Kamba
Olam Specialty