To expect the unexpected

fire1Having lived with Artisan through the highs and the lows over the last two years, we’ve definitely been through some trying times. From day one when our first ever barista walked out on us, to the moment our coffee machine decided to give out steam in the middle of a big rush… to staff members turning up drunk to work, or not turning up at all. All of these make you stronger and are definite learning experiences.

One particular incident from last month in Artisan Stamford Brook occurred when we received a phone call at 5am from our neighbour in hysterics asking us to come quick as our shop was on fire. After getting dressed and leaving the house in all but one minute, we drove in silent shock not knowing quite what we were about to see. Almost arriving at the scene, we were stopped by police telling us we had to walk on by foot. When arriving at Artisan we saw flames blazing in the flat above and six fire engines and 35 fire fighters battling to control it. After what was a sad and agonising day of witnessing our neighbour’s home disintegrate, we were allowed back into Artisan to mop up the water that had leaked through, and clean up the resulting mess.

It’s amazing how quickly you go into reactive mode; for us it all about getting the core function back up and running – which of course is the coffee. We were on the phone to anyone and everyone trying to arrange a coffee cart to almost start serving coffees whilst cleaning up in the shop, to involve the community in what occurred to not only us, but our neighbours. This however didn’t pan out as our electrics were down, so on we went into full clean up and rescue mode. After getting everyone we knew including our great staff with about 10 mop buckets in hand and dehumidifiers blasting nonstop, we miraculously reopened after 2 days. This was quite a feat and couldn’t have been done without the help of many, including the firemen who helped cover up and protect our precious La Marzocco espresso machine in the first place.

Looking back we almost can’t quite believe it was real, as it was truly surreal. We consider ourselves lucky and thankfully no one was hurt – but it was a challenge and unforeseeable setback you just can’t plan for or predict. We are still recovering from the damage caused such as ruined furniture, destroyed documents – but at least no one was hurt and we were able to pump out the coffee much sooner than we thought when we first arrived in that morning. It seems obvious but our advice after this incident would be check and recheck your insurance policies and then find a way of turning very problem into a positive – for us we got to know the community and they got to know us from that horrible event.

Love from Artisan

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