You poor, hungry people. We know – we left you, totally abandoned, discarded like the dirty wrapper on a late night kebab. We’re sorry. We’re hungry too. These last 2 months, since our sojourn in Italy (seems like years ago – where on earth did the summer go?) have been dominated by back to back bookings with our street food stall; mornings at the market, afternoons at the hob, then endless nights at the computer, tapping away at our book. We’ve barely slept, and definitely missed out on a social life, but now we can finally reveal that it’s all down to the fact that WE HAVE A SHOP! The wife and I – that’s Rosie – did a deal on a tiny unit in Brixton’s wonderful Village, the indoor market. And yes, we’re planning on opening in early October, Friday 7th to be precise.*
* We needed a little longer than we anticipated to get everything just right and will open to the public on Saturday 15th at Midday. See FRENCH & GRACE for more details.
We’re excited and scared all at once, and so very, very thrilled to be able to put down some roots in a space that we’ve watched and thoroughly enjoyed as it’s grown over the last two years. It wasn’t all that long ago that we hosted a day and night’s residency at Cornercopia, just round the corner, and we longed for a shop of our own. So now we have one! We fought tooth and nail with our proposal to get in there, and we’re well under way with the build. Watching the tiny, dark red butcher’s shop that it used to be becoming a Salad Club hangout and kitchen-restaurant on a miniature scale (believe, it’s 191 compact square feet) is a beautiful thing. We have anguished over paint colours, tiling, floor coverings, suppliers, refrigeration systems, you name it.
And no, we’re not quite there yet – there is a great deal of work to be completed still, but we’re on our way, and it feels darn good. No longer will we have to ferry pots and measuring jugs between our kitchens. We have a shared, loved workspace to cycle to in the mornings where we’ll pull up the shutter, get the coffee on the hob, and attend to our daily cooking, ready to share with you, the people we’ve allowed to go hungry for too, too long. We look forward to serving up our hearty, colourful Salad Club style street food and home cooking, and will be open for take aways, supper bookings and all sorts in between.
So now you see we weren’t ignoring you, we just had a lot of projects to hurl oursleves into. We’ve had enormous help from several great groups of people whom we’d like to thank: namely Raph, Rosie’s husband, who has been on his knees with a hammer and saw these last few weeks, advising, measuring and building the thing. Then there’s the unforgettable assistance and support of The Princes’ Trust who’ve helped us onto our business feet with a whole wealth of sensible, practical courses and spreadsheets. We face their Dragon’s Den approval committee on Monday to see if we can bother them for a loan – Deborah Meaden, here we come!
So yeah, we’ve built up an appetite too. As of today, OUR FINAL BOOK DEADLINE (ach!), we may just be able to carve out some time to start posting blogs again. We’ll be nipping off throughout September to rear our heads on the festival scene first (West Norwood Feast, Alex James Presents Harvest, Abergavenny and Real Food Harvest Festival) and then we’ll be right back with you, ready to open up the shop, and in one place for once. Sort of. After that, we’d really appreciate it if you could sort us out with a holiday, yeah?