But what exactly does the term ‘coﬀee-preneur’ mean, and what will the magazine be covering in their session? Editor In Chief Soheb Panja, gives you a sneak-peak in this open letter…
‘London appears to be creaking at the seams with wide-eyed enthusiasts with a business idea. Some even evolve into a business plan, rusty sketches and back of-napkin numbers may follow, and some could even turn into actual live things. Every year sees a new record high of the number of people starting up; last year the number broke the 600,000 mark.
And it’s in food and drink retail where a lot of the going-it alone energy and imagination in London is centered upon. More speciﬁcally, it’s coﬀee and various interpretations of bringing quality eating and drinking in a casual style that has struck such a chord.
In the last few years, The London Coﬀee Festival has increasingly been where imaginative and ambitious business ideas have collided with the ﬁner points on brewing a cup of coﬀee. We’re delighted to be hosting debates and discussions at The Lab this year, where we expect some of the sharper minds in London’s food and drink scene will swap stories on the emerging forces shaping casual eating and drinking in the coming year, and their plans on setting up new and enduring businesses.
This patchwork of ideas we hope to hear at The Lab this year should make for fascinating listening. The interplay of food and coﬀee, innovation of retail formats and architecture around coﬀee and even how service is changing is where a huge amount of creative work is taking place.
Quality, aﬀordable and relaxed places to eat and drink have come relatively suddenly in a city that not that long ago was making do with some appalling stuﬀ. It’s a transformation that has come not just from people with a sharp eye for design and cooking skills, but those same people have demonstrated a canny commercial nous in how they’ve built their business models, rethought physical space and formed intelligent growth plans.
Individuals behind businesses like Grind in Shoreditch, Workshop in Clerkenwell, Caravan in Kings Cross, Street Coﬀee in Bermondsey and Fernandez & Wells in Soho have done much to change the spirit in their respective neighbourhoods, and they’ve also sparked a creative/commercial fuse in many to have a go at their own dreams of a cafe/restaurant that could be just as ground-breaking, just as successful, and just as inspiring to others to this last wave.
The next wave of coﬀee and food operators are undoubtedly hatching some incredible projects. We’re expecting to get a glimpse into these at this year’s London Coﬀee Festival.’
Editor In Chief