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27th February 2024

A brewing success: Withington’s new Something More Productive

Stepping into Withington’s newly treasured coffee spot, we speak to the owner of Something More Productive
A brewing success: Withington’s new Something More Productive
Credit: Olivia Bucherer-Ezer @ The Mancunion

Tucked away, just off the Withington high street, in place of former record shop Wilderness, sits the new artisan cafe – Something More Productive. Having only opened in September, owner Theo has quickly transformed this corner gem into the new local favourite – and there’s no surprise there. 

Filled with sweet treats, loaded sandwiches, soups, and high-end coffee, all supplied by independent businesses of the local area, Something More Productive emanates the community in every sense of the word. Theo’s charismatic poodle, Roscoe, is not the only thing that welcomes you at the door, and as you enter, the affable, unfussy atmosphere is exactly the kind of charm you’d hope to walk into for your morning coffee. Theo and his wonderful team – usually working three at a time – not only offer service but also a sense of familiarity in their friendly welcomes and chit-chats with newcomers and regulars alike.

Amidst the wind-down of another busy Sunday afternoon, I was able to speak with Theo a little about his journey to Something More Productive. 

Illustration by Olivia Bucherer-Ezer @ The Mancunion

As a former fan of – and coffee supplier for – Wilderness, Theo knew as soon as it went up for sale that there was no better time and place to set up his first coffee shop. Having wanted to open his own for some time, it was “more about the location and the community it was going to be in” than anything else, and opening an establishment that reflected those living in the area was something Theo felt the Withington high street was lacking. Setting the cafe apart from the likes of Fuel and Toast has not only been its speciality coffee but its broad and inclusive demographic – extending beyond the student pool – inviting in the families, old and young residents, and working professionals of Withington.

The community atmosphere of Something More Productive is only complimentary to its delicious, carefully crafted menu of vegetarian delights. As opposed to marketing the cafe as plant-based, Theo’s intention has been to show that “vegetarian food is just food,” and delicious food at that. The soups, sizeable sandwiches and sweet-satisfying treats deliver on flavours, depth, and high quality as the menu alters with the seasons, ensuring ingredients are in their prime. 

Blueberry and dark chocolate babka. Photo: Olivia Bucherer-Ezer @ The Mancunion
Satay Oyster Mushroom bánh mi. Photo: Olivia Bucherer-Ezer @ the Mancunion











Theo’s journey has “mainly been a case of curating elements of [his] life so far and putting them into one place.” Being born and bred in Manchester, Theo has slowly crafted his “very own fantasy football team” of coworkers and suppliers – or more rightly put, his friends – making both the produce and the people “local as fuck.” Along with all of its charm, Something More Productive has emerged as a hopeful example of the kind of independent, sustainable and above all friendly establishments that Manchester deserves.

So drop by, say hello, stay for a sandwich, or a coffee – maybe you’ll even see Roscoe – and simply indulge in the pleasantries of Withington’s newest and already most treasured local cafe.

Some of the team. Photo: Olivia Bucherer-Ezer @ the Mancunion

If you fancy supporting more of Manchester’s best independent eateries, check out some of Something More Productive’s suppliers:

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