August 22nd 2005, a little yellow cafe called ‘Save Ferris’ opens on D’Arblay Street Soho.
Apart from it didn’t because a few weeks earlier we changed our minds and called it ‘The Breakfast Club’. A classic space-time continuum moment that Doc Brown would have been proud of. We can only speculate where we’d be if a fast serve burrito cafe called ‘Save Ferris’ opened that day.
The mothership in Soho is still there and we’re still here. My sister in-law and I are still pinching ourselves that we got this far. We cashed up our tills on that first day and counted £26.35 (£13 from our friend Jimmy The Edge) Back in 2005 £26 was a lot!
Along the way we’ve had a lot of people join us for the ride. We’ve said goodbye to a few and there’s a few we just can’t shake. To all the incredible staff past and present that helped us get here – it’s a minor miracle, without you we’d have been working at Chipotle thinking ‘this could have been us’.
For those of you who don’t know anything about us – here goes. We are family caf business (caf not café) doing a mean old all day food and drink offering. We seem to be fairly well known for our banging brunches – rumour has it we invented Breakfast. The rumours are unfounded. A man called Kellog did. We also turn our hand to some wonderful lunches and evening meals accompanied by a drinks menu that encompasses barista made coffees through to award winning cocktails.
Our cafes are all very, very different. New cafes excite the hell out of us, why would we want to do the same thing again and again (that’s something we’ve never understood) Whether it’s the bright yellow junk room that is our Soho cafe or the Wigan Casino inspired Canary Wharf caf – there’s a little something for everyone. We are here for everybody – your mum or your boss, your 80 year old grandma or your famous boyfriend, it’s an everyone is welcome kind of place.
We could tell you about our bars, The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, The King of Ladies Man, Call Me Mr Lucky and Dr Klugar’s Olde Towne Tavern – but we can’t, they’re all a secret. We could tell you that we are twice London Bar of The Year – but we can’t because the bars don’t exist. We could tell you about our award winning bar tenders that you’ll never find because they’re so discretely hidden behind a fridge, a launderette, a kitchen and a Dr’s Waiting Room. We just can’t tell you anything about our bars.
There is something I do want to tell you about. Things have improved since that £26 first day. We couldn’t have done that if it wasn’t for the wonderful communities that welcomed us in across London and now in Brighton. It’s only right then that we give a little back. We do this through our ‘Good Day Productions’ team and you can find out a little more about what we do here… Let’s just say there’s nothing better than singing Karaoke with an Islington pensioner on a Tuesday afternoon.
Finally, speaking of people, we couldn’t have done this without our customers. You gave us a chance when we were starting out and made this one of the most enjoyable journeys imaginable. So to all you grandmas, famous boyfriends, mums, bosses, hipsters, athletes, basket cases, princesses, brains, criminals (maybe not criminals) THANK YOU