A NEW coffee shop has opened its doors on Shipley's Otley Road in a bid to create a space where the community can meet, eat and relax.

The Bothy has been years in the making for Tom Chilton, a coffee lover and cafe connoisseur who was inspired by Scotland's bothies - free shelters in the mountains where people can stay.

The Bothy is also an ode to his family in Scotland and fond memories growing up and playing in these little homes with his cousins.

"I wanted to bring that over to the coffee shop, to have a place to go and relax and chill," he explained.

To bring his vision to life, Tom has recruited the help of local Bradford businesses from Haworth's Cloud Gate Coffee to Binns of Saltaire.

His shop is stocked with sandwiches, sausage rolls and more as well as a unique home blend of coffee.

When Tom described his vision to Cloud Gate Coffee, he asked for a blend which tastes like "being out in the woodlands, you see a light in the distance and it's a nice, warm little hut and it reminds you of good times".

It features three beans - Bristol, providing a sweet peanut flavour; Monsooned Malabar, an earthy dark chocolate taste and a smoky Cuban bean.

Tom also claims to have perfected the recipe for brownies - already a popular choice with locals.

Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus, Tom said: "I've been looking for a few years for a coffee shop. I've worked for many years in the catering sector, in coffee shops, but I've always done it for somebody else. The whole idea is I can do it for myself.

"It's taken quite a while. With the whole lockdown this year it's been a bit more delayed.

"It's a nice, warm and friendly environment for people to enjoy. Quite a lot of people have been telling me this is what Shipley has been lacking. All the coffee shops are in Saltaire.

"Everybody's been really nice and supportive.

"I'm an independent business myself, I want to help out all the little guys as well. As long as it's good, high quality that's what I'm all about. A lot of the little, small independent places do really well and make really nice things."

When asked about opening in the time of coronavirus, he said: "I've been very confident and had a lot of self belief. I've had a lot of support from my family and friends. There has been challenging times and challenging times are ahead but I've found, with the help of people pulling together, the power of the people, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.

"At the moment I've got no staff so it's just myself. I've roped my brother in to help and my mum. I've had a few people actually messaging us about work. I never got this in my old job actually, kind of being a mentor, take people under my wing. It will be really nice to do. It will give people the confidence. I know a lot of pop up shops, this is how they started their own business. Even if some of my staff are passionate about baking and the cafe side, I'd support them in doing anything they want to do.

"I know this year's been horrible but there has been some fantastic things that have come from it as people have been inspired to say, you only get one life you might as well have a go, have a crack.

"I'm doing that same thing. It's terrifying to start anything new and like with anything if you don't do it you're going to have regrets as you're not taking opportunities."

And while Tier 3 might be putting his true vision for the venue on hold, he is already planning what his next steps could be post-pandemic.

With the canal nearby, Tom is planning takeaway picnic baskets for walkers, seasonal menus and nights hosted by musicians and music students at the nearby college.