This month, East Londoner’s passing through Old Street Station can turn their most important meal of the day into a sensual and enlightening experience. 26 Grains has appeared in Unit 2B selling Scandinavian style porridge pots, brimming with filling flavours, slow releasing energy and tasty toppings.
With a unique array of flavours including Pear, Cardamom, Hazelnut and Rye porridge, Coconut, Chia and Blueberry Bircher Muesli or Quinoa, Poached Egg and Pesto pot. 26 Grains is a delicious alternative to your standard cereal bowl. Appear Here caught up with the founder, chef and porridge aficionado Alex Hely-Hutchinson to find out more...
What inspired you to start 26 Grains
26 Grains was inspired by the rise in street food vendors. However, what I realised is that street food is a treat and I wanted to create something that was delicious and on the go, without forgoing quality of ingredients and health.
Why have you chosen to launch your business with a pop up?
Pop ups are an opportunity for people like me wanting to try out niche business ideas without having to commit to annual rentals. By reducing our initial sunk costs we have the ability to develop the product and the business ideas according to our immediate feedback from pop ups and we also have the chance to test out a number of different directions for the business. It also allows us to build profiles as a business if we were to seek investment by creating a portfolio of market research.
Why did you chose Old Street Station as a pop up location?
Old Street Station has fantastic traffic each day and the demographic of commuters and people passing through the station are open minded individuals, interested in and supportive of new ideas. It's also a great way to meet other businesses with like minded values and to create a community to reach out to a wider audience.
It would be wonderful if 26 Grains ultimately opened its own small location in the area around Old St Station and its a great way to introduce the business people who work and live locally and get them recognising and keeping an eye out for the brand.
What’s the biggest challenge of appearing in an underground station?
Trying to get across why you’re different. Most people who pass through the station don’t have much time to stop. However if you can capture the audience for a moment to explain what makes you different, you will often see people coming back for more.
What's been your favourite moment so far?
Meeting like minded businesses, and getting repeat customers who give feedback on the concept and products, oh and of course an appearence on ITV News!
What tactics have you been using to get Old Street commuters to try 26 Grains?
Sample sample sample! Porridge and grains have a bad rep, and if I can get people to just taste it, a high proportion of samples translate to sales either immediately or over the next few days.
What advice would you have for people setting up their first pop up shop?
Come with an idea that you’re passionate about, prepare as much as you can; if you believe in your product, other people will too.
Find shop space to let in Old Street Station