Shoreditch Grind established itself as a coffee and espresso martini destination in the early 2010s, coinciding with the start of London’s java revolution.
David Abrahamovitch, a lifelong Londoner in his twenties at the time, had been left a small circular building on the Old Street roundabout by his father in his will.
His father, David, had previously operated it as a phone shop. However, his entrepreneurial son partnered with Australian DJ Kaz James to reimagine the space. James brought his passion for Melbourne’s hipster cafe scene, and the two decided to open a coffee shop with a difference. They erected billboards in the style of a cinema in 2011, just as the coffee market was exploding.
When they first opened, Abrahamovitch recalls, people asked “multiple times a day” what a flat white was. However, the flat white — an Australian export — soon found its way into the hands of every City commuter. McDonald’s now sells them for 99p.
Today, Grind operates eight locations throughout the capital, as well as a 15,000-square-foot roastery in Bermondsey. Despite the pandemic’s impact on cafe revenues, the company expects sales to exceed £20 million for the first time ever this year as a result of the company’s large-scale rollout of its new compostable coffee pods.
If you live in London and have ever expressed even a passing interest in coffee online, you’ve probably seen advertisements for these millennial pink pods in matching tins.
The product first gained traction in 2020, as office workers forced to work from home sought to replicate cafe brews.