With Bestowed Kitchen’s first ever pop-up café running between the 18th and 29th March in Walthamstow, North East London, Aldermore caught up with the Start-up Stories stars in the final few days before the launch to hear how preparation was going.
“It has been ridiculously intense: my day job is quite manic and I’m having to work until 12 or 1am to get things done,” admits co-founder Jeremy Wood. “It was my Birthday last weekend and even then I was reluctant to do something as I’m constantly thinking about everything that I need to do. That’s the lifestyle you take on when you run your own business; you can’t shut the office door after five o’clock and leave it behind.”
Though the work is far from over, Wood is pleased to report that plans are well on track for the pop-up.
“It’s quite satisfying seeing the long to do list with lots of ticks on it,” he shares, adding, “One of the main challenges was sourcing equipment. For example, we had a long debate over whether to buy proper coffee cups, and we’ve ended up going for disposables, mainly due to cost and storage requirements afterwards. We want to be perfectionists in order to make a good impression, but there have to be compromises.”
Thankfully, the effort appears to be paying off for Bestowed Kitchen, particularly in terms of the press coverage the pop-up has already earned, from features in the local paper to a mention from a top London events site.
“All of the announcements have been sent out and the two page feature in a local magazine was published, which got some really good reactions,” he comments. “People keep saying they’ve seen us in the magazine locally and we’ve noticed a really big spike in our Facebook likes.”
“We were also mentioned on the blog for Time Out magazine. I had sent press releases out and they featured us in a piece called ‘Ten pop-ups you won’t want to miss in March’. We weren’t expecting that whatsoever and that’s pretty great exposure as it’s such a well-respected publication; the reach will be beyond what I could calculate,” Wood relates enthusiastically.
As momentum grows, the young entrepreneur’s sights are now firmly set on the upcoming launch night, using his contacts to invite journalists and bloggers to the free taster event.
“Essentially at launch parties everything has to be for free, as you have to give samples of the food and there’s also an expectation that there will be free drinks,” he explains. “We knew we might have to cover the cost from our own pockets, but decided to approach some local breweries to see if they would be interested in sponsoring us. Luckily a local brewery agreed and will be providing about 70 pints of their beer.”
Overall, the message from Wood is an optimistic one, albeit with a careful degree of caution.
“We’re definitely looking forward to it,” he concludes. “We’re excited and slightly nervous at the same time as we’ve put so much work into it. Inevitably, some elements will still go wrong and it’s just about dealing with those challenges as they arise. We’re a year into this now so hopefully we’ll be better prepared for unexpected issues, and we’ve been very thorough and organised with the planning.”
With Bestowed Kitchen’s first pop-up café now well underway, Aldermore hopes everything is running smoothly for the budding business, and will be sharing Wood’s account of the ten-day venture in next month’s #StartupStories update.
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