Author Archives: usual

Urban Coffee Company

Urban is a small independent cafe chain based in Birmingham. At Urban we caffeinate, feed, quench the thirst and WOW our customers through breakfast, lunch & dinner

Urban Coffee Company was started in 2009 and it now has two cafe emporiums in Birmingham with planned expansion.


After serving for 15 years with the Reserves (Territorial Army) I saw it go from a big boys drinking club into a professional outfit capable of supporting its regular counterparts on operations. Over the last 10 years the Reserves have provided 1000’s of troops to the operations in Iraq and Afganistan. The officers and soldiers of the Reserves have stood along side their regular counterparts despite having day jobs, limited experience and limited training.

What struck me as we saw the death toll rise in Afganistan is the lack of differentiation between a Regular death and a Reserve death, some would say this is the One Army concept working but I think this hides the contribution the Reserves are making. The real trigger for this was the loss of a colleague Pte Joe Whittaker in 2008, if you look at the Play section on this site and the “40 miles with 40lbs” photo you will see Joe & I stood at the back. I spent 6-months training with Joe for the competition so got to know him well.

So I created this blog to chronicle the TA’s contribution in lives to Army operations.


Silicon Canal

I help co-found Silicon Canal in 2015 along with a number of tech CEO’s from across the city. Silicon Canal is a community interest company established to Connect, Promote & Support the Birmingham tech ecosystem. It now has over 2500 members.

My DriveWay App

My Driveway, the mobile app for keeping all your car information in one place, it acts as your personal assistant reminding you when things are due like you MOT, Tax, insurance or next service. Next time you need a bit of information about your car just reach for your mobile phone, My Driveway has it. My Driveway the ultimate car management app.

Download the app My Driveway


One of my passions is cars and Land Rover’s and a couple of years ago a friend and I embarked upon the Crumball Rally, you buy a car for less than £150 then drive around Europe with a whole bunch of other mad people. Well that gave us the bug and since then we embarked on further mad automotive adventures.  We have driven across the Sahara Desert to Mauritania in Africa, Azerbaijan and now have plans for an Arctic Circle trip.


Birmingham Entrepreneurs

I created Birmingham Entrepreneurs as a meetup group in 2008 because Birmingham had nothing like it. As the 2nd city I expected something like this would have existed but after some checking it didn’t. So now on a monthly basis a group of potential and current entrepreneurs get together to swap notes.  This group is now the 5th biggest group in Birmingham (2500 members). Join here