The food revolution of St Paul's Road in Islington continues and as we're locals to the area, we're very happy for it to carry on. We've recently seen the addition of pan-Asian takeaway Tootoomoo replacing the local kebab shop (our waistlines will be thanking them) and now there's another great sounding-deli opening on the street very soon called Nanna's.
We caught up with Nanna's Sally Stall to find out more...
What can you tell us about Nanna's?
Nanna’s is a nod to the good old days when you knew what your food was made of and where it came from. As a café it will provide quality coffee and home-made food. As a pantry it will offer an alternative to the local supermarkets and mini-marts.
But most of all, I’m hoping to bring a cosy hint of the 70s back to St. Paul’s Road.
What's your own background and what made you want to open?
My main background is event management in the UK and Australia, mostly for music festivals. When my last contract finished I started looking for the next job. I applied to a very reputable company but the job itself was dry, the pay wasn't great and I would barely see any of the festival. I thought to myself: “why am I fighting so hard for a job like this?”
I had some vague ideas a few years ago about starting a mobile café with a little vintage shop in the back at festivals and those thoughts started surfacing again. I thought, why not do it now?
So I started doing temp reception work; lots of quiet shifts enabled me to spend time researching and developing my idea, which by this stage had evolved into a proper café. I also worked for 18 months at Lardo which helped me to get back into the mindset of hospitality, but this time with a very different perspective.
I found the site earlier this year and did everything I could to get it - it's just such a great location with a beautiful façade and fantastic neighbouring businesses.
Can you give us some examples of what you'll be selling and serving?
The emphasis really is on local produce and wares, so most of the products for sale in the shop are made in London, and are also incorporated into the menu.
The shop will be split into two sections; café on one side and pantry on the other.
The café will sell locally-roasted coffee, home-made cakes and breakfast items, salads, soups and stews in the afternoons, and in the evenings snacks and charcuterie boards will be offered alongside wines, bottled beers and spirits.
Pantry items for sale will include jams, chutneys, breads and sweet treats. All items will be sourced from London suppliers and will also be used to prepare menu items. Recipe books, magazines and mid-century bric-a-brac will also be for sale.
And how about drinks?
Well, we all know Nannas are fond of their gin, so there will be a selection of good London gin including Sipsmith, Mother's Ruin, Little Bird and Dodd's Gin. We will have the Borough Wines barrels so you can come and refil your bottles and will also stock items from Stellacello, Mother's Ruin as well as Redchurch, Wild Card and Crate breweries.
And how about the look of the place?
Nanna’s is modeled on my grandmother’s lounge room when I was growing up in the 1980s: warm and cozy, full of armchairs and sofas to curl up in, lots of dark wood furniture, milk glass light fixtures and mid-century cabinets all in the classic 1970s colour palette – dark wood, mustard yellow and forest green. The cafe will seat around 20 people, and there will be benches outside for 12 more.
And when will you open?
Fingers crossed we open the weekend of 21/22 December but there's still a lot to do! [NB - Looks like they're now going to be opening on 28 December 2014]
Nanna's is at 274 St Paul's Road, London N1 2LJ (for locals, it's where the old pharmacy used to be). For more information, follow them on Twitter @nannasN1. .