Coming in a very close third was Brown & Green…
An institution in these parts, they are a
local homegrown business, serving up amazing brunch, including badass bacon butties, all types of scrambled eggs, full brekkies, vegan & veggie options, freshly baked pastries, salads, homemade soups & sarnies, and some seriously delicious cakes. They also pump out some great music to power you through your day.
B&G currently have five cafe’s and a food van (called Pam) with number six cafe in the making, right in the heart of Crystal Palace Park.
Q1. Hi Laura and Jess, congratulations on being a firm favourite with the local freelancer community, tell us a little about you?
A1. We are Laura & Jess, originally from Brighton, we moved to Gipsy Hill in 2002 where we started our career in food, married our boys and have now got 5 cafes, 1 food van & 5 babies!
Q2. When did you first conceive the idea of Brown & Green and how long did it take you to get it off the ground?
A2. We were involved in BBC2’s The Restaurant, a reality show with Raymond Blanc, where couples had to set up a restaurant from scratch. Brown & Green was always what we called our hungover food ‘brown rice & green spinach’- good for you, wholesome food. We came 2nd in the TV show & from there knew we wanted to do it for real! Gipsy Hill station was our first cafe- just the 2 of us, 6 days a week 6am-2pm!
“Believe in yourself, be positive and don’t give up. Look after your staff and they will look after your business”.
Q3. What is a typical day for you in your business?
A3. It’s changed a lot since the early days, although we are still very much hands on. The days can vary but our weeks are always very hectic and we are always working! We do the rota, interview staff, have managers meetings, coffee training, trade shows, new suppliers meetings, site visits, organise staff parties, staff reviews & generally keep on top of everything- with the help of our amazing managers!
Q4. What was the best advice you were given when starting up?
A4. Get a bank loan and go for it!
Q5. What is your top tip for motivating yourself to keep focussed and grow the business?
A5. Believe in yourself, be positive and don’t give up. Look after your staff and they will look after your business.
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