It's clear from these photos that I have a serious sweet tooth, with the delicious sandwiches being overshadowed by all the delicious pastries. Guilty as charged! This month Apostrophe are celebrating their 10 year anniversary by giving away a coffee and a croissant for £2.95 all over London, as well as introducing a new loyalty cad system so you can get your free coffee sooner. Alexxsia and I headed down to where is all began yesterday to sample what a typical Apostrophe lunch is like.
I was really impressed with the choice of sandwiches, pastries, cooked meals and cakes that this caf has to offer. Situated on Great Eastern St it's the perfect location for the editors of ID etc to lunch! I had a chat with the founder of Apostrophe, Amir Chen to find out why he thinks his cafe has become so successful..
What made you want to give up your job as an investment banker to become head of the cool cafe chain Apostrophe?
It was a passion of mine for many years. I recollect many times peering through the plane window on a business flight imagining my hospitality venture. I was always an alert hospitality consumer and thought I'd have a good eye as an operator.
What do you enjoy most about the job?
Meeting satisfied guests and seeing the shops operate smoothly with smiling staff and full of happy guests.
You have a very loyal customer base, what is it that keeps them coming back time and time again?
They appreciate the quality of the food and drink. They like our slightly quirky personality and can associate with it. They are made to feel welcome – comfortable spaces to meet or relax, free newspapers and wifi, free minted water.
Apostrophe is about to have it's 10th birthday, how will you be celebrating?
Firstly, we want our guests to know we've been around for 10 years, but still managed to stay fresh and current in our crazy competitive London high street. We've always been innovators and intend to continue doing so. We were among the first in London to train our baristas to make proper Italian coffee - we insisted that Londoners deserve better than the foamy bubbly drink they were used to and started making velvety cappuccinos and lattes already 10 years ago. Not many people know that our Shoreditch store was the first in London to introduce communal seating, now a "must have" at trendy cafes across town. We were also the first to treat our guests to free wifi and minted water refills.
So how do we celebrate? We launched a new loyalty card, moving from offering a stamp rep visit to a stamp per coffee – this way our guests can get a free coffee much quicker than before. We've also launched our first company wide promotion – coffee and croissant for only £2.95. We're also planning new collaborations and competitions. We've already launched our "birthday poem for apostrophe" competition in tandem with National Poetry Day, and are about to introduce exciting collaborations with The Royal Academy and National Theatre. And of course, being a fashion blogger, you might be interested to know we're changing our uniforms…
Whose idea was it to start the Apostrophist on Apostrophe's facebook page?
Most of our customers are very discerning about what they eat and drink. They are also discerning about what they wear, they want to make a style impact. Given that our strap line is "the accent on taste" I thought this was an obvious connection – snap our style-conscious guests in our taste-conscoius space!
Inspired by the Apostrophist, I thought I'd do a little style post outside myself..
Wearing: COS knit, unknown collar, vintage pleat skirt, Alexander Wang shoes
Alexxsia and I shared -
A chorizo, oven roasted tomato and red onion toasted sandwich with rocket on a rustic multigrain bread
Chamonix with goats cheese, oven roasted peppers and salsa rossa on a multiseed sourdough loaf
Cinnamon latte and earl grey tea
Roasted fig tart with almond cream
Thanks Alix from ME:MO for organising this tasty lunch!