Learning to juggle
It’s funny how long certain processes can take when negotiating about new property, and then all of a sudden – it’s yours and things seem to be happening way too fast. When working out the terms of our new lease for Artisan’s sister shop in Stamford Brook, the legal side of things seemed to drag on and on. To us it seemed the landlord was always holding out for a better offer so in the end we upped our offer out of frustration, with the added clause stating that things had to move along faster. It took months of emails and phone calls and then the exciting day came – it was ours.
As we began Putney by fitting it out ourselves with the help of a very talented and multi-skilled tradesman (www.kriwer.co.uk); this time around in Stamford Brook we thought we’d do the same and began the long days and nights of hard work. Our new site was in good shape, however it was just a shell so everything from walls to plumbing had to be installed.. and what looked like a month long fit out nearly took two. An average day for us involved painting and getting grubby, then popping over to Artisan Putney for one reason or another looking like painters and decorators. It was a great two months of fitting out, we loved being involved in every decision and actually doing most of the work we could. We even tried to get the Putney team involved as much as we could and we would all spend a day with a paintbrush in our hands late into the evenings; and this actually served as some really good team bonding and was a lot of fun.
The time finally came and we were nearly ready to open, it was almost 2013. By far our most interesting New Year’s ever, we spent it doing all the last minute touch ups, painting, setting up our sexy La Marzocco coffee machine, and organising everything for our big opening on January 1st. When the ball dropped at midnight, we were with our very dedicated Barista Chris, and the three of us stopped for 5 minutes to split a celebratory beer, then back to work we went until we dropped from exhaustion after 1AM. We had put posters up in all the windows with a countdown to when we would open and then left the door wide open, meaning people would constantly be popping their heads in and saying they thought we would never finish in time. This helped us build up a rapport with the local community even before we opened our doors.
Open day at Stamford Brook was an exciting and buzzing one; we were so happy to see so many people come to check out Artisan – however we felt slightly overwhelmed and had to quickly phone for back up from Putney. Overall it was a great day and the beginning of our juggling act of having two babies to look after.