Its been 15 years since the day, Jad rocked up to Borough Market on his first day to trade. Armed with little more than an 8ft trestle table, a table cloth and a cool box with a small selection of fresh mezze, that had been lovingly produced, less than a half a mile away in a small live work space around the corner from Bermondsey street. There were probably only a handful of traders, 20 at the most. I joined Arabica not long after.
I probably shouldn’t be writing this at 01:56 after a glass or three of Arak Brun, but things are so crazy at the moment with the imminent opening of our Restaurant in Borough Market, that I often find the best time to play catch up is when everyone else is tucked up in bed. What was I thinking trying to re-launch our branding at the same time as opening an 80 cover bar and restaurant.
Anyway, back to the point. The years rolled on and the landscapes have changed. Bermondsey blossomed, we moved into a bigger unit in Camberwell, Borough market literally exploded, and then a six years ago Jad decided to opt for a slower pace of life in sunny Crete, leaving me to take the helm and steer the good ship “Arabica”, through the recent recession. I managed NOT to hit any icebergs with the help of my loyal shipmates and about two years ago, I phoned Caz Hildebrand of Here Design out the blue, told her a little bit about ourselves and asked if she would help us freshen up our look !
I had grown tired of the dreary brown 2 tone labels and I didn’t feel it truly represented the colourful adventures I’d been on, the evocative spice souks I trawled for hours and the wonderful worldly hospitality I had encountered.
But - I never for a moment, considered how hard it would be to say farewell to our beloved camel, that Jad had painted on the back of cardboard box, one sunny morning sitting out the back of the live work space on Wilds Rent Road - Turkish coffee in one hand, paintbrush in the other.
Here’s a taster…
During the next few weeks our website will look a little topsy turvy. I haven’t been as organised as I’d of wished for. Its a mammoth task and trying to synchronise all the different suppliers and lead times for 45 odd products, whilst also planning to open an 80 cover restaurant is pretty intense. Anyway, the labels and packaging are arriving in dribs and drabs and we’re lucky to have our good friend, Jim Fenwick shooting stuff as it arrives, so as soon as we get new pics taken, we’ll be franticly uploading them and finally pressing the green light on our refreshed website.
In a perfect world we would of announced everything on a monday morning and of pressed the live button the night before, but things don’t always go to plan. I’m still tapping away at 02:42!
We hope you all like it!