Get To Know... Kentish Town Stores
As part of getting to know our neighbourhood, we caught up with London local Luci from Kentish Town Stores for a quick Q&A chat about her business.
More so than ever does community and collaboration play a part in the hospitality industry, and what better way to encourage locals to support locals, than for everyone to get to know each other a little better.
We're proud to collaborate with Kentish Town Stores by providing them with sustainable, plant-based packaging alternatives.
Hi Luci, Could you give us an overview of Kentish Town Stores?
Kentish Town Stores is an independent coffee shop and lifestyle store, with a focus on delicious, fare and hand-crafted wares from London and UK makers. A SPACE UPSTAIRS is a co-working and event space, for freelancing creatives and small businesses seeking a positive shared workspace in the local community. In the evenings and at weekends the space is available for workshops, talks, product launches and other events.
How would you describe Kentish Town Stores in three words?
FARE | WARES | a SPACE UPSTAIRS (three words-ish!)
What would be the most popular dish or drink on your menu?
I mean it’s still all about a Flat White, isn’t it! With Minor Figures almost as popular as the Estate Dairy Milk to go with our Allpress Espresso beans.
Popularity is definitely growing for our filter offering though. We rotate the guest roast once a week or so and it’s great to be able to show different aspects of the industry to our customers and to work with some other great roasters – at the moment we have Hermanos, Machina, Square Mile, Triple Co and The Barn (our only non-UK product) on rotation. All are available to take home as well which has been very popular in Lockdown.
Food-wise, this February we have had a Teriyaki Chicken, Grilled Pineapple & Sriracha Mayo sandwich on the menu which has been causing quite a stir with our regulars.
Oosshhh, sounds delicious! What's your current local favourite to visit?
I am seriously missing our Pubs! North London, and specifically Kentish Town, has so many great pubs that I cannot wait to get back to when time allows. From Tapping the Admiral, The Pineapple, Lord Stanley, Bull & Last – I mean the list could go on. For now, its lots of nights in with beers & wine from Caps & Taps and Pizza from the amazing Delicious by Franco – both on Kentish Town Road.
Our favourite daytime thing to do at the moment is to walk with a purpose – this is usually a bakery at the end of a lockdown rainbow. And we have loads within a couple of miles that we have been frequenting of late. Coffee Jar in Camden does a lovely cup of Monmouth Coffee.
There is a great new bakery in Crouch End called Sourdough Sofia and she makes a pretty awesome Nduja Croissant. Recently we popped down to Pophams for a Rhubarb Danish. And we love walking up to Cricks Corner for a brew with a view. The top plan for the coming weekend is to track down a Bread Ahead Doughnut as they have recently opened up on Hampstead High Street. We might need some of the local gyms to open up again soon too! Whoops!
What inspires you in the sustainability space?
I spent years working in live events and it was a constant battle trying to be more sustainable in such a staged and temporary environment, so sustainability is something I think about a lot. As we know the hospitality industry is not much better. For me, sustainability comes into every part of the business, although I also know there is so much more we could be doing so we try to make small progress where we can and try to be constantly mindful of our consumption and waste.
The ethos of the business is about supporting and building on local ecosystems. As we know a 15-minute city has become a huge buzz word, but I think that trying to live within our locality (be it NW5, London or the UK) helps us to really think about our personal need, impact and excess which in turn I have to believe has a contributing factor to the sustainability of the wider community. This is reflected in different ways in the business including:
- For the food and drink, we love to work with and champion small, local businesses that also take sustainability seriously. Our bread is delivered by bike from an amazing local bakery (handily called Bread by Bike). Our Coffee is roasted in Dalston, and we use local butchers and greengrocers to source our produce. All of our packaging is paper-based, or plant-based, and we make sure our paper stickers etc. are not permanent and can be removed for recycling and composting etc. The only plastic that is ever used is recycled bubble wrap (if it’s in the building) to send out retail orders.
- On the retail side, we work with amazing independent ceramic makers, as well as a few other small businesses, that are all based in the UK, as close to London as possible. When you’re investing in beautiful functional craft, that has been made by hand, not only will this hopefully change the way you experience a very simple part of your every day (making that cup of morning coffee all the more special). But the added, extra icing on the cake is that this will mean there are fewer throwaway homewares going to landfill in the future. Some of our makers even reclaim their own clay and only use renewable energy to fire their works – doesn’t get much more sustainable than that.
- The fit-out of the building was also considered in terms of sustainability and longevity. We used only natural materials, that could be repaired over time, recycling what we had where possible. We made most of our own furniture and the tops of the tables are an amazing product made from linseeds. They feel (and weirdly smell) amazing, and apparently, when they get scratched you can repair the surface with a walnut! Not that I have actually done this as yet.
Kentish Town Stores
230a Kentish Town Road, London, NW5 2AB
8am - 5pm Mon-Fri, 9am - 6pm Sat-Sun