Laura Marin is a business student and manages a cafe. The Warehouse Cafe, the student-run cafe on Hult’s London undergraduate campus, has unique challenges and benefits. With the power in her hands, this is Laura in her own words, talking about the business project that has become her ‘baby’.  

The past and the present 

There was always a cafe on campus, but the warehouse was born with me. The name itself pays homage to the history of the building we’re in. It was once a brewery, and with a Grade 2 listing, it remains a protected building in the UK. For that reason, it felt right that the name reflects the urban history we’re all a part of by studying here.  


100% student-run  

It all started normally, I was interviewed, I performed well, and I got the job. Then they said: off you go. The students run the place, and we have complete control of everything happening here. We even designed the uniforms! While I’m technically the manager no decision is made without the team of student supervisors, and they’re all as dedicated as I am to making the place a success.   



Learning to manage   

Believe it or not, when I first started The Warehouse, I had no prior management experience. So, one of the biggest challenges for me has been people management. I try to remember why I was hired and those are characteristics I look for in my staff. A cultural fit is the most important thing, and once you have that in your team, management is a lot easier.  

Strength in diversity   

London is one of the most diverse cities in the world. The Warehouse has to be an extension of that, so we try and cater to all needs and tastes, we order products that are vegan or vegetarian—anything the student body needs. Before coming to London I didn’t even consider food that’s halal, but I learned quickly. I myself am gluten-free so I make sure there’s plenty of stuff I can eat too. The brownies are particularly good! 


More than just a coffee  

Cafes are meeting places. This is where all the undergrads can come and socialize with one another, and we are responsible for that space as well. What we try and do is foster a relationship with as many clubs as possible and collaborate whenever they need to host an event. We’ll act as an intermediary with suppliers, order food, decorate the space—anything the club needs. 


A sustainable warehouse  

Ensuring the products we sell are all sustainable remains our number one priority. It’s the pressing issue of our time so making sure The Warehouse keeps up with industry standards is important. We have cultivated good relationships with sustainable suppliers, and I hope this will continue after I’m gone.  

I graduate in a month but I’ll be staying in London so I can keep a close eye on the comings and goings here. The way The Warehouse has blossomed into such a community space for the students really makes my heart sing. I know all future managers and supervisors will have their own visions but the foundations I’ve built will remain.  


Come down for a gluten-free brownie sometime!