What’s Your Story?
Catch Up Portraits November 2018

What’s Your Story? is a monthly blog series we run in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention. 

Our first interview was with Gary Parselle of Private Press back in October 2016, so after 2 years and 15 WYS blogs , we popped in to catch up with some of our participants. No interviews this time, just photos.

Thanks again for everybody’s help with the series – if you would like to feature and tell us your story, please contact us: david@pleeceandco.com 

 

Gary Parselle – Private Press

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Livvi White – Dopple Press

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Jess Davies – Stoney Point

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Andrew Garnett – Family Store 

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Alice Sharville – Spiderplant

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Alys Dobbie – Between Two Thorns

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Curate Labs
Headspaces Interview October 2018

Pleece & Co has found a home in Mocatta House – part of Spaces Brighton. We now share a building with a number of creative and diverse companies, and we thought it was time to get to know them a little better.

Headspaces is a collaboration blog series between Pleece & Co and Spaces in which we talk to our neighbours about their businesses, work advice and what puts them in a good headspace. 

This months conversation is with Curate Labs, an independent, sustainable creative design studio based here in Brighton and in London.

 

QUESTIONS WITH ABB-D CHOUDHURY – CO-FOUNDER
SPACES GROUND FLOOR

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TELL US ABOUT YOUR COMPANY

Predominantly we are a design studio with a focus on ethical and sustainable design. Through our work we look to advocate empathy, purpose and practicality. We offer end-to-end solutions often incorporating branding, creative content, design strategy and web design. We deliver both digital and physical products and functionality dependant on project objectives.

Alongside the studio, we run two publications – Curate Magazine and The Annual Digest and a series of ethical & sustainably centred travel guides named Wandering Through.

 

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TELL US ABOUT YOUR TEAM

Abb-d Choudhury and Sara Scobie are design partners and founders of CL. As a duo we both oversee the day to day running of the business and all stages throughout each project. Over the years we have grown a talented remote team of incredible and innovative freelancers, contractors and contributors whom we work with on a project-by-project basis.

 

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WHY SPACES?

We spent a good few months looking for a space to grow from and use as a base of operation. Of all we tried, SPACES seemed to be the most accommodating. Being close to Brighton station is also useful due to London connections. We’re also suckers for simple Scandinavian interior design, good coffee helps too!

 

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WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU ENCOUNTER AS A COMPANY?

At the moment, time and resource is a real challenge. Being only two of us means internal resource can become stretched. For client work this isn’t a problem, but making time for our publications and the travel guides is the tricky part.

Our personal projects create an opportunity to always be on the hunt for trends, culture hacks and interesting destinations around the globe. These insights and lessons are invaluable for our design services, we challenge our clients to consider their process’s and approach to work, as we should all be working towards our A game and sometimes that means assessing practice, communication and process.

 

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WHAT MAKES YOUR COMPANY UNIQUE?

As a company, we are constantly experimenting and pushing the creative threshold to provide something beyond the norm, we look to position our clients as industry leaders. What makes us special is our values and ethics towards work that matters (at least to us). We’re selective with the projects we take on and the clients we partner with. We look to work with companies that strive for authenticity, push to create an ethical culture and wish to refine a sustainable business model.

 

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BEST PIECE OF WORK ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN?

Abb-d: Surround yourself with people better then you and always do your own thing.

Sara: Concentrate on what you believe in, trends pass, your approach is what sets you apart and makes you interesting.

 

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WHAT PUTS YOU IN A GOOD HEADSPACE?

Abb-d: Travel, sunshine, the positive parts of human nature and publishing great content.

Sara: Soulful conversations, 8 hours of sleep, regular yoga practice and plenty of herbal teas.

 

curatelabs.co

spacesworks.com

 

Resident Music
What’s Your Story?

What’s Your Story? is a monthly series in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention.

Resident Music is a Record Store with a big reputation. Based on Kensington Gardens in the North Laine, Resident has become a Brighton institution, catering to crowds of record enthusiasts and growing with the revitalisation of vinyl in the past 5-10 years. We spoke to Natasha Youngs, co-founder of Resident to ask about her journey and how a modern day record store works.

 

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HOW WAS RESIDENT MUSIC STARTED?

Myself & my now husband Derry Watkins met whilst working for Virgin / Our Price & realised we had similar dreams to set up our own business doing what we love best: running a record shop.

 

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HOW HAS THE POPULARITY OF FORMATS CHANGED THE BUSINESS OVER RECENT YEARS?

We opened as a CD only shop, as vinyl was already heavily catered for in Brighton at the time (we opened in 2004). There were more than 20 places selling music in Brighton & Hove at that time so competition was strong & we wanted to be sure we were doing what we did really well rather than dabbling in a bit of everything. At the time, the demand for CD far outstripped the demand for vinyl but clearly, over the last 14 years, this has changed dramatically. We introduced a box of vinyl on the counter. This quickly became a lot of boxes under the CD racks. This this then became CD racks being swapped out for new vinyl racks. Then we just ran out of space! So we took on the shop next door, knocked the 2 together & now we have a happy CD / vinyl balance with space to shop more comfortably & a book corner too.

 

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WHAT DO YOU THINK OF RECORD STORE DAY?

We’re big fans of the event as it’s the one day of the year when independent record shops have a spotlight shone on them. It’s a way of bringing us all together in celebration of our place on the high street. A way to remind people how important record shop culture is – either an affirmation for those who already know & help us keep it alive every day of the year or a way for those who have forgotten or who don’t invest in the culture regularly, to be reminded or re-engaged. In the press, there is too much focus on the actual releases & the commercial aspects of the day & nowhere near enough focus on the actual shops involved the people behind them & the culture of our sector of the industry.

 

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HOW DO YOU BALANCE THE STOCKING OF BIG AND SMALL BANDS AND LABELS?

We don’t really consider our curation of releases so much in this way. We try to consider lots of different elements surrounding our buying – customer demand (across a hugely diverse customer base, all ages ranges, locals & tourists, hardcore devotees & occasional buyers), how previous releases have sold, how much we are into it ourselves, press / radio coverage, how much we trust that label’s own tastes & previous releases

 

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TOP 5 RECORDS OF 2018 SO FAR?

Across all the staff tastes, the mid-year vote revealed the following to be our favourites:

Sons Of Kemet – Your Queen Is A Reptile

Rival Consoles – Persona

No Age – Snares Like A Haircut

Fire! – The Hands

Sleep – The Sciences

 

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ARE THERE SOME HIGH FIDELITY STYLE QUIRKS THAT COME WITH WORKING IN A RECORD STORE?

Of course – we all have geek like tendencies & obsessive behaviours. It’s what holds us together!

Hopefully we come with a lot less snobbery though. I personally hate any snobbiness related to music. Who’s to say whether one noise is more superior to another? Whatever engages someone’s brain, makes them dance, takes them to a different place, helps them feel a sense of belonging, has a nostalgic warmth, challenges them, makes them feel fuzzy, causes cathartic release – that’s the joy of music. One person’s intolerable racket is another person’s melody. One person’s cheesy pop is another person’s euphoria.

 

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DO YOUR STAFF INFLUENCE THE SELECTION OF RECORDS IN-STORE?

Yes, all of them, whether they realise it or not. We always try to recruit people with a fresh approach or who bring a set of knowledge with them that we are lacking as a team. The wider the tastes in the shop, the more people we can confidently cater for. Derry & I can’t possibly hear, understand, know or like everything out there so we need a set of people around us that can help filter & curate.

 

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HAS YOUR CUSTOMER BASE CHANGED OVER THE YEARS YOU’VE BEEN OPEN?

Yes, although many of them are the same people that walked through our door in week 1 which is brilliant. We have changed as a shop, in response to the demands of our customers. We started out pretty mainstream as that was Derry & I’s background, what we were familiar with & what we were confident with but we’ve evolved. We take on board everything we get asked for that we don’t stock & adapt accordingly.

 

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WHY BRIGHTON?

It’s home. It’s an incredible city. It’s what we know & where our heart is. The thriving live music scene here is crucial to our success & the people here want to be involved in all things cultural. Also, the support for independent businesses here is strong, especially in the North Laine.

 

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WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR RESIDENT?

Our plans change all the time. Expand Resident further. Open more record shops in different towns. Open more shops selling different stuff in Brighton. Just cruise along exactly as we are enjoying what we’ve built here. Pack it all in & live in Australia. Who knows what the future holds?……

 

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If you would like to feature and tell us your story, please contact us: david@pleeceandco.com 

 

Dopple Press
What’s Your Story? Reissue

What’s Your Story? is a monthly series in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention.

Dopple Press  is a Risograph & Design studio based in New England House in Brighton. The Studio was set up by Livvi White, the only Risography studio currently based in the Brighton area serving many in the local illustration and design scene. We caught up with Livvi to explore Dopple Press and the appeal of Risograph printing.

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HOW WAS DOPPLE PRESS CREATED?

After finishing my Graphics degree at Kingston, I worked in publishing and then in digital printing. I really missed the DIY design culture and hands on nature of creating. In came Risograph printing, which made perfect sense as an outlet to encompass my skills and passions. Dopple Press began in my living room, I dropped all my savings into the machinery and began to teach myself the ropes. A year later and it’s a real business with a studio, a lovely varied clientele and four exhibitions under it’s belt.

 

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WHY RISO?

The are so many reasons to love Riso- it’s hands on, un-charted, eco-friendly, versatile. The excitement comes from not always predicting the outcome and playing with the vibrant colour pallet. We so rarely get the opportunity to see more than CMYK or RBG so Riso is a whole new visual adventure!

Risograph is also the only eco-friendly form of print which is very important in our climate.

 

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BUT DOPPLE PRESS IS MORE THAN JUST A PRINT COMPANY?

Dopple Press is an outlet for creatives. It’s personal and I care about giving people a means to experiment and adapt there work and see it in a new form. It’s also saving the planet which is pretty cool. This year Dopple will be hosting more events and workshops too for people to get there teeth into and amping up the online shop.

 

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WHAT KIND OF CLIENTS DO YOU PRINT FOR?

Anyone and everyone- artists, corporations, illustrators, designers, students, bands, shops, makers, eco-aware folk. There’s a great range of people, some who know and love the process and some who just want to give something new a shot.

 

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FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE JOB?

Creative freedom, literal freedom of being my own boss and wonderful clients I get to meet. Learning and honing my practice is also very rewarding. I can take the machine and drums apart and put them back together now, which feels good. The growing Riso community is also an interesting thing to see developing and be a part of.

 

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WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MUSIC TO LISTEN TO IN THE STUDIO?

I love a gnarly true crime podcast- though late nights printing can sometimes get a bit spooky.

 

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WHY BRIGHTON?

It’s creative and has a wonderful community. It’s also a city that takes the environment seriously. I couldn’t believe no-one else was doing Risograph here when I moved home and i’m a great believer in ‘if you think something should change, change it’. So I set up Dopple Press.

 

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WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR DOPPLE PRESS?

The studio is expanding as we speak which is very exciting, mainly because I love making floor plans, but also because it makes way for in-house finishing equipment. Dopple is adding publishing, in house creations and workshops to its roster in 2018! Watch this space!

www.dopplepress.com

 

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English’s Chef Off 2018
Pleece & Co Photo Blog

The sun shone and the conversation and wine flowed at the 2nd English’s of Brighton Chef Off. On May 10th, 2018, the Pleece & Co team managed, filmed, photographed and drank several vats of alcohol at the exciting event which was held on the terrace outside Brighton’s most famous restaurant. 

The Chef Off champions the next generation of chefs in the city of Brighton & Hove, with the winner being crowned, ‘Best Emerging Chef.’ The contestants have to ‘Chef Off’ against each other and produce a signature dish to present to and be judged by some of the biggest food hitters in town; Michael Bremner from 64 Degrees and Murmur, Stephen Edwards, former Masterchef Professionals winner and owner of etch. and Yuri Magni, head chef at English’s

The participants were: Cin Cin, Plateau, Drakes, La Choza, The Salt Room, 3rd Avenue, Isaac At, with the winner being the dark horse, Tristan Conway-Grim from fledgling restaurant and venue, 3rd Avenue.

Pleece & Co created the concept for the Chef Off as well as managing the whole process from press ganging all the restaurants and press, bloggers and blaggers to attend, and running the on the day comms across social media as well as documenting and measuring the success of the day with our clients and partners. 

Everyone had a great time and we now look forward to next year, when the format will change slightly, but the objective will remain the same – to celebrate the skills and innovation of Brighton & Hove’s unsung kitchen heroes. And the wine will still be free.

 

The event compere Jonathan Speirs introduces the competitors
The young chefs ready to compete…
…for the top prize
A large crowd watch on under the sun
The guests were free to try a range of oysters from the oyster bar
Aiden Briffett from Isaac At looked pleased with what he was cooking
Josh Ticehurst from Plateau carefully preparing his dish…
… and enjoying a quick taste before sending his dish off to the judges
Our videographer Alvy filmed the whole event
Donal Hughes from Cin Cin delicately preparing his dish
Host Jonathan watches on as eventual winner Tristan Conway-Grim puts the finishing touches to his dish
The audience were treated to an endless supply of wine and fizz…
…as well as a number of free tasters, like these Eton mess dishes
Harry Traynor from The Salt Room cooks in front of some curious audience members
The 3 judges deliberating over the dishes
Each dish was scored on different criteria
Tristan’s winning Dover sole dish
Andre presenting Tristan with his prize
WInning chef Tristan poses with the 3 judges…
…and shared a laugh at the end of this fantastic event

 

Between Two Thorns
What’s Your Story?

What’s Your Story? is a monthly series in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention.

Between Two Thorns  is a plant and floristry shop in Brighton that also offers workshops, plant based commissions, and tea and coffee. Alys Dobbie, known also for her antiques expertise has created a very lush, green experience on Upper North Street. We caught up with Alys at her space to find out more about her and the business she has built.

 

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HOW DID BETWEEN TWO THORNS BEGIN LIFE?

I was (and still am in a way) an antique dealer for 12 years, and i’ve worked in retail for 20. I re-trained to be a florist and really needed a workshop – I found this quirky building and fell in love. I’d love to sell more cut flowers but I’m petrified of wastage, so did some botany based courses and research and work experience and took advice and…house plants were born!

 

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TELL US ABOUT DIFFERENT SERVICES YOU OFFER AND HOW YOU BALANCE THEM?

I offer quite a few different services here – I was going to say ‘I am foremost a…’ but my brain stopped forming words  – so guess I’ll just give you a list of things I do

  • Plant shop
  • Coffee shop
  • Workshop
  • Stylist
  • Florist

They’re balanced by the nature of the shop and it’s location I think…if people come in then obviously they are my number one priority – be it looking for a plant for a particular spot in their house or coming to chat to me about wedding flowers. If the shop is empty I work on promoting my workshops and plants. If I’m at home I’m ordering various things and answering emails. It’s a 24 hour a day job so I have to stay on top of things.

 

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WHY PLANTS?

Popularity. Plants are the new black – people have really changed their attitude towards house plants now and don’t just see them as a house warming gift for a mate. They see them as investments both to themselves (air purifiers/mental health aids) as well as for their houses, they are as important as curtains or books.

 

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WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR BEST SELLERS SINCE YOU HAVE OPENED?

The workshops! People are mad keen on improving their skill set and steering clear of the pub these days. My terrarium workshops are held about 3 times a month and are always completely sold out.

 

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WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?

People’s reactions to it – everyone is so positive and welcoming. The area is really great with all the locals being very supportive, the trend for buying local has always been cemented in Brighton and long may it last.

 

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WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO IN THE SHOP?

Ah gaaad! If I’m on my own I’ll put some cheesy bangers on. If I’m doing some computer work I’ll put on anything without lyrics so I can concentrate better. LCD Soundsystem seems to be on fairly often. I’m no music buff.

 

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WHY BRIGHTON?

There’s nowhere better to live in England.

 

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WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR BETWEEN TWO THORNS?

I’m already shipping my plants globally and have some weddings lined up for the year. I’d love to get to a point where I could afford someone to work more than one day a week as my social life has taken a hit – it’s totally worth it though!

 

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Mesh Studio
What’s Your Story?

What’s Your Story? is a monthly series in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention.

Mesh Studio  is an art and design brand and studio based in Brighton and run by Marcelina Amelia, who uses various different mediums to create and sell artwork. We caught up with Marcelina at her studio in Hove to find out more about her and the art of running an independent studio and brand.

 

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HOW DID MESH STUDIO BEGIN LIFE? 

Mesh studio came from my DIY approach. Rather than waiting for a dream commission to come knocking on my door I decided to do it myself. I needed an outlet for all of my ideas, as I have a lot of them but little time to see them through.

One day it just clicked in my head – “I need to start my own art brand”. This way I can publish my own magazines, collaborate with other people and basically bring to life all of the things I wish existed. I think I sometimes had a hard time describing myself or what I do as the way I work is very non-linear. Before I start a project I usually write a lot, I photograph, research, mood board, mock-up tiny models etc. and then decide which medium to use.

 

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So it all started over a year ago, I was toying with the idea and then suddenly I just decided to call it a MESH STUDIO as this is how my brain works. I combine all those different pieces of information coming from different mediums, meeting them in the middle to make a final pattern/piece.

It is still very early days but I’m very excited about the endless possibilities it could bring!

 

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IS ALL THE ARTWORK PRODUCED BY YOURSELF?

Almost. It is all designed by me but I have collaborated with a brand HEIHO on a range of flags and cosmetic bags that they have produced. And very recently I have invited my friend Kamila (silKKjewellery) to work on a jewellery line together and I’m very excited by the results!

It will launch online soon at www.mesh-studio.co.uk. But most things are handmade by me, I have someone helping with t-shirts, but I print all of my limited edition screen-prints on paper myself.

 

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WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE JOB/WORK?

I don’t want to sound cliché, but creating is like air to me. I just feel so happy that I can finally do it full time! I love making, and I love this feeling of excitement and freedom, I feel like I am in a state of endless possibilities.

 

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WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THEMES AND INSPIRATIONS IN YOUR ARTWORK?

My first line of t-shirts was heavily inspired by women’s empowerment. I seek inspiration everywhere; from my childhood memories to polish folklore to Catholic iconography. But mainly my inspirations come from my feelings. For me, feelings are difficult to convey in words.

My latest series are very much about wellness and self-acceptance. Mental health is an important subject for me too. But it is never too serious as I like the juxtaposition and contrast. For example, this is the summary of the story behind my latest screen-print ‘Sunbathing’: “I was sitting at the beach with my partner in crime, aka Wild Beaver, when we came up with this idea. Letting our bodies soak in the sun, we thought of the Broad City episode about seasonal affective disorder and it all clicked together. I’m still considering buying a ‘Sad Lamp’, all the while hoping this print will help me cure my seasonal depression.”

 

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DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVOURITE MEDIUMS/FORMATS?

Drawing is always a favourite for me, but I do also love screenprinting, it’s quite magical.

 

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WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO WHILE YOU WORK?

I love listening to podcasts, ‘Art for your ears’ by Jealous Curator is my favourite. I did have a phase of listening to podcasts about minimalism. I like audiobooks too, my recent reads include: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk by Danielle Krysa.

 

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WHY BRIGHTON?

I really like it here, it is calmer than London but has a lot of going on too. Also, it seems like people are about 80% happier here. I have a sponge personality so I do like to be surrounded by positivity and open-mindedness. I do love London but after 7 years of living there I felt like a tuna in a can.

 

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WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR MESH STUDIO?

Hopefully, it will grow and I will be able to do more and more! I’m hoping to expand, meaning more products, more collaborations, more events, more possibilities. My dream would be to have a studio/gallery space where all the magic would happen and people could come in/join.

 

 

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In conversation with Cin Cin’s David Toscano
The Italian Bar & Kitchen…

It’s an exciting time for our client Cin Cin. After a successful first year at their location in Vine Street, Brighton, they are opening a second, larger restaurant in Western Road, Hove.

The Italian Bar & Kitchen in Vine Street has already established itself as a leading restaurant in the area. In its inaugural year Cin Cin made it into the Good Food Guide and achieved the highest new entry at the Brighton’s Best Restaurant Awards when they were named 6th best restaurant in Brighton.

We went along to interview their founder, David Toscano, about his success and the exciting year ahead.

It’s been an exciting first year for Cin Cin and we hear that 2018 is about to get even better?! Tell us about the new restaurant opening in January? 

We really have had an amazing first year at Vine St but it’s time to spread our wings and raise the bar a little so we’ll be opening in Hove next month! We are building it now and every day I go in there, I get a little more excited for what we are about to bring to the food scene of our great city.

What’s the same and what’s different about the new place?

It will be a larger restaurant, it really couldn’t be any smaller than Vine St could it?! That said we have worked really hard to come up with a design that will be instantly recognisable as a Cin Cin restaurant so it will still be casual Italian dining on stools around a u-shaped bar with an open kitchen. But we will also have a private dining room for parties and events so we can bring the joy of Italian feasting to groups of our fantastic customers.

An illustration of the Western Road shop front

Will your head chef, Jamie Halsall, be based at Western Road or Vine Street? 

Jamie is very excited about the new restaurant, sometimes I feel like I’m only designing it to make him happy! But seriously, we are very conscious that people love Vine St and of course we do too, so one thing that is very important to our whole team is that we do not leave Vine St behind or let our standards drop there. So for that reason Jamie will be working across both sites with his expanded team of chefs so we can maintain and hopefully raise the standard of Italian cooking that Brighton has come to expect from Cin Cin.

Chef Jamie Halsall (left) & David Toscano (right) outside Vine Street

Tell us about the menu ideas you have for Western Road? 

Well we don’t want to give it all away but one big improvement will be that we will have a charcoal robata style grill which will mean we can put our Italian spin on great meat, fish and vegetable produce. Look out for dishes like Sussex lamb rump on Castelluccio lentils, celeriac & salsa verde. We’ll also have a prep kitchen downstairs at Western Road that will service both sites which means the types and quality of pasta we will be making is going to get better and better.

Anything else we should look out for? 

The private dining room is give us a lot of opportunities to host events with our suppliers – wines & vermouth, meats & cheeses etc. – and long term, we’d like to be able to sell take home packs of our handmade pasta shapes. Watch this space!

When is launch planned? 

The restaurant should be built by end of December, with soft openings second week of January and press nights the following week before we open the doors to the public.

Plans for the future? 

Right now we want to get this right and give Hove a real Italian that it can be proud of. But we love what we do so we want to keep taking it to as many people as we can so we’ll look for more opportunities in the next few years.

You don’t have to wait until January to sample the delights of Cin Cin. Book your place at their Vine Street Italian Bar & Kitchen by calling 01273 698 813. And be sure to keep up with all the exciting news about their new restaurant by signing up to their newsletter and following them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.