Aaaaand... We're LIVE!
Hey guys! 👋
No, you're not dreaming... 😵
Nope, no need to pinch yourself...
We are finally breaking out of our silence indeed!
Finally getting out of our shell. 🐚
Finally getting ourselves out there.
Finally sending out some carrier pigeons in the world bearing great news..! 🕊🗞
Our website is live... And we mean business!!
A thousand thanks for your patience... And a thousand apologies for this long overdue update.
Some of you first subscribed to our Newsletter back in March last year!! Whaaaat?!?
And we've been promising you an invite to our launch party ever since...
So before I start getting into the details of when we are finally going to host said party, let me bring you guys up to speed on everything that has happened since that time.
A bit of back story
I got the keys to the property that was going to become home of MAMIE'S, at 19 Catherine street, on the 9th of February 2016.
(#PancakeDay2016... Was THAT a sign or what?)
For the curious out there who are looking to dig even deeper, check out this ➡️ article where I tell you the whole story
The works did not start before the 11th of April though. Because we were re-doing everything. And I do mean... E-VERY-THING! It took a lot of preliminary site meetings, quotes from contractors, discussions... I had no idea! 😱
🛠 Check ➡️ here the before/after results.
We eventually managed to first open the doors for our Family & Friends event on the 23rd of July... But don't think that we were ready then. #Nonono
Here is what the restaurant looked like a few hours before the beginning of the event (night of the 22nd):
We worked hard, pushed harder, managed to sort most of it out and ended up being able to hold our event. Yup! Just like in a fairy tale! Everybody had a great time... And if you're wondering what a party pulled off at the last minute by MAMIE'S staff looks like... We captured the essence of the night in video. Here's a sneak peek for you 👀📽
And to think that this was just a trial run compared to our official launch coming soon!! 🤘
It took us a few more days until we actually opened to the public on the wonderful day of the 3rd of August 2016! 🏁 #GO!
But it was still quite hectic: limited menu offer, cash only payments, I was buying our food every morning in markets and supermarkets instead of having it delivered to the restaurant... #MadTimes #UltimateExhaustion 🥀
And to top all of this, La Cidrothèque (our Cider cellar / specialized bar concept) is still not finished downstairs...
Don't get me started on water leaks and London's humidity (especially in basements)! 🌧
Why am I telling you all this?
The point of all that jabbering is that it has been quite the ride!.. And I did want to share some of the excitement, doubts, bliss and frustration that comes with the decision of completely changing my life and setting up my own restaurant (a dream that a few of you might share)... 💭💫
Setting off to build MAMIE'S over the course of those past few months has been the greatest experience in my life so far! One of passion and uncertainty, one of selfless work and ecstatic pride, one of solitary struggle and amazing encounters, one of being free, making my own choices and paradoxically of so many constraints! I have never felt more in touch with my sense of purpose and more in control of where I am heading. In spite of those fridges breaking down, the dishwasher falling into pieces, food sourcing problems and the headaches of admin and HR... I have never loved what I am doing so much!
Of course, being from a very different industry and background (I used to work in Finance), I am learning so much everyday about the hospitality industry, about heading a team, about managing a company... And nothing is as flawless or as perfect as I wish it would be. But it is such an extraordinary and humbling experience to battle and push through all those difficulties. And I have to say... Thanks to my wonderful team, we put together a great, traditional but modern and unpretentious restaurant! Those guys are one heck of a rockstar group and I am so lucky to be able to count on them so much!
You really ought to come and meet them and try London's best crepes and galettes (not our words.. check for yourself on our Tripadvisor page)
😎 #SoProud&SoHumbled 😌
And about those apologies ?
Of course when we were getting ready to open the crêperie, and because the hospitality industry is so professionalised and competitive nowadays (particularly, as an independant restaurateur in chain filled London) I started to lay some marketing groundwork for the restaurant. We set up our Facebook page, our Instagram account, a landing page for the website, etc. We started to communicate about who we are, what we were working on, we posted a few pictures, put together a few videos... And amazingly, a lot of you guys started to pay attention, which made us feel so proud and honoured. However when we were indeed "ready" to open the doors, on that fateful day of the 3rd of August... I suddenly started to feel quite worried...
We did not know how many peope would show up, we did not know how much volume we were going to be able to cope with (if any)... I wasn't sure that I was ready, I wasn't sure the team was ready, we were still missing a crepier for the kitchen... And I did not want to take the risk of making anybody's experience at MAMIE'S unsatisfying! #NoWayJosé
So a few days before the opening I decided to stop any and all communication... Facebook, twitter, instagram... There was to be no fuss and no noise about us because I realized that we still needed a lot of TESTING and LEARNING! 🎓
From the beginning of August onwards, we opened our doors shyly, started to operate quietly, asked for those initial customers' feedback and, day after day, troubleshot all the tiny and larger issues that we encountered.
I am really passionate about crepes, galettes and cider but in the end what you guys think of what we do matters a lot!
So I absolutely wanted to get everything right and (as) perfect (as it could be). 👌👌👌
And for keeping you out, I really, open heartedly, apologize!
To this day I still do not know if it was the right move. We might have learned faster if we hadn't done this. All of you might have wanted to come in and test out our beta version of MAMIE'S, you might have wanted to give us your feedback and see us improve.
But I recognize that playing dead and burrying my head in the sand wasn't right by you. And for that I am sorry. But I really wanted to put together something great for you guys... And throughout those long weeks it always felt like we were nearly there... That we only needed one last push... Just a few more weeks. #ItsTakenSoMuchLonger!!
But there we are... We've made enormous progress, the operations have gotten a lot stronger, we've debugged most equipment/material issues and in the unfortunate event of something going awry, the team will without any doubts be on top of things, accessible, helpful and reliable. To sum it up: we finally got there.
So before I conclude that long monologue... Let me jump to that one last thing that you are all waiting for!!
We are holding our official launch event on the 20th of February 2016! 🥂🎊
So again, if you want a chance to be invited (and you haven't done so already), drop us a quick word and leave your email address there ➡️
Watch out now for that invite email during the next few weeks 🤞😁
To finish, as it is customary to say here online...
Hello, world 👋🌍 and see you soon at MAMIE'S!!! 🥞