Work is well underway on a new coffee shop and showroom, Sendero Specialty Coffee, at 2 Lavender Hill (opposite Sainsbury’s – formerly the A Modern World furniture shop, also formerly DesignME). We hear that – assuming all goes well – they will be opening at the beginning of February.
Certainly looks an interesting business – it’s worth a look at their coffee sourcing and importing work, which involved extensive travels to Uganda, Colombia and Ecuador, to source the coffee that will supply the new shop and the coffee sale business – lots of details on their blog. It’s rare to see somewhere that knows quite so much about where their coffee comes from!
Back when Caffe Nero opened opposite, coffee shops on the main stretch of Lavender Hill seemed a brave move, but that pioneering branch seems to have been a success, and they have since been joined by Cake Boutique, Il Molino, Social Pantry and several more. This new opening should be a good addition to the street – it looks like a good business and has plenty of potential to help trade by drawing people in from further afield, and experience so far suggests that the more good coffee shops open, the more people come here to visit them.
There’s a planning application in for the change of use (from the A1/Retail building use category to A3/Restaurants & Cafes). Although it’s a loss of a shop in favour of an alternative use (which usually sets alarm bells ringing if it is likely to reduce the viability of neighbouring businesses) this seems a positive development, and Lavender Hill for Me has expressed support (pdf) for this proposal.