London Coffee Festival Goes Virtual
The London Coffee Festival is going virtual this April. This online production aims to continue to support and provide a platform for the ever-growing London coffee and hospitality industry.
Coffee, food, mixology, music, art, design, education and culture will be brewing up for a whole 12 hours. This virtual experience will create a space for everyone to connect and unite through their passion for coffee.
We caught up with Ludovic Rossignol-Isanovic, the director of events of Allegra Events, who produces The London Coffee Festival, and Balance Inc. We chat about all things coffee, events, wellness and sustainability.
Hey Ludovic, thanks for taking the time to chat. Here’s an easy one to start, how do you begin each day?
French press at home loaded Moccamaster in the office. Sharing is caring, right?
Nice, Could you give us an overview of your business?
We produce coffee festivals all around Europe and America in non-Covid times – that’s what we love to do.
My other passion is wellness, so I have another business called Balance Festival which is all about embracing wellness as a way of life. I am also working on a brand new wellness project – watch this space, it hopefully will be launching soon at all our festivals!
We’ve reinvented ourselves and done some exciting work webcasting virtual events such as the Global Coffee Festival last October and The London Coffee Festival Virtual this coming April.
Can you run us through what exactly your job entails, and what are the most challenging and rewarding parts of your job?
I have the chance to work with amazing, driven, passionate people that genuinely care and have tons of pride in what they do.
We are an event, experience and creative media business at heart. We do pretty much everything in-house, which is fun, diverse and personally highly fulfilling. However, it’s also the challenging bit – we are ideas people and we sometimes tend to have too many of them!
The most rewarding part of my work is to create something new from scratch and then see it happening with people interacting and loving it.
How would you describe your company in three words?
Experience is everything.
What's your favourite coffee spot to visit and what are you ordering?
I am a creature of habit when it comes to hospitality. Caravan Kings X super early in the morning on weekdays is a delight. Get there 30 mins before your morning breakfast meeting (in person… can you imagine), order a batch brew and then another, and a few more. Perfection.
I normally don’t do breakfast during the week but if I do brunch there during the weekend with the family, their brunch menu is off the chart – you can pretty much order anything sweet or savoury and you’ll be winning.
Ozone Coffee Roasters on Leonard St is a favourite too. And I must say, again part of the Caravan family, Vardo in Chelsea in the summer is an absolute winner for brunching al fresco. Lastly, Rosslyn in the City is a must-visit if you happen to be on that side of town.
What inspires you in the sustainability space?
I guess it’s more than sustainability; it’s, of course, critical to preserving planet earth and cut our carbon footprint as much as we commercially can – but in my view the current shift that really excites me is about the long term enterprise view, setting out long term guiding principles that are rooted in a business and have a positive impact across the board – people, planet, the greater benefit of the world.
With the Balance Festival brand and the new venture, we are currently working on we want to make wellness as a way of life accessible to the masses. It encapsulates doing good for the planet and being conscious about the impact we are having, but more importantly, it’s about making people’s lives more fulfilling, making people healthier, happier and enabling them to live longer - that inspires me.
What is on the horizon for Allegra?
I am and always have been an eternal optimist, but I must say my crystal ball has been failing lately. Hopefully though, by summer, we should see a speedy recovery of the hospitality space (you can do it Boris!), events reopening (socially distanced or not), and fingers crossed by early fall we will be back in business.
Also, I feel the legacy of Covid will mean more hyper localism and less international travel – which can only be a good thing for the planet and our souls.
What’s something you've learned over the past 12 months?
I can definitely work from anywhere in the world, I should have packed up in March and rented a flat on an island with good wifi!
Do you have any parting words of wisdom or advice?
Chaos can spark a sense of togetherness and humanity which is refreshing. Hopefully, we won’t forget this too quickly and be more grateful for what we have, and appreciate the ‘now’ in good company more, instead of running non-stop for the sake of reaching the next milestone faster.
The London Coffee Festival kicks off on the 16th of April 2021 - Click here for more information and how to watch live.