Tag Archives: meet the trader

#YourPound – Meet the Trader: Brixi

This blog post is by Hayley James, who is researching the Brixton Pound as part of her MA in Social Anthropology

The front of Brixi store, photo by Tiffany Mumford.

The front of Brixi store, photo by Tiffany Mumford.

Have you noticed that shop in the market, next door to Full Moon Designs and not far from Fish Wings and Tings… a shop that from the outside looks like a magical trove of wonders? We have, and what an adventure it is inside!

Brixi was opened three years ago by Emy Gray to showcase handmade, artistic products from local makers and recent graduates, as well as some from further a field. She was attracted to Brixton because of the vibrancy of the area, and there are lots of creative people living locally whose work is featured in her shop. While browsing there, some wonderful prints by Camberwell illustrator Hayley Wall caught our eye, as well as some amazing tool jewellery from local maker Daniel Darby, and bold, brightly coloured paintings by artist Abe Odedina, who has a studio in the upper level of the market.

It’s a great place to find a unique gift, or maybe to treat yourself. Emy is enthusiastic and passionate about what the things she sells, it’s really enjoyable to talk to her about the objects and where they come from. If you have something specific in mind, it’s worth having a chat with Emy.

Emy inside her treasure trove, photo by Tiffany Mumford.

Emy inside her treasure trove, photo by Tiffany Mumford.

To make it even better, Brixi is now offering 10% off for B£ Pay by Text customers on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. What a great way to spend #yourpound – on beautiful, artistic objects and meanwhile supporting local makers!

#YourPound – Meet the Trader: Salon

This blog post is by Hayley James, who is researching the Brixton Pound as part of her MA in Social Anthropology


Salon is a fabulous restaurant in Market Row. It has been in operation above what was Cannon and Cannon’s deli since 2012, and has garnered some seriously good attention in that time, their food being described as “divine” by Metro. Now the whole unit is coming together under the Salon name, although regulars can rest assured that the deli still stock charcuterie from Cannon and Cannon, as well as the usual cheeses, pastries and cakes. On the day of our meeting with owner Nick Balfe there is some work being done on the interior, but even so the charm is unmistakable. It’s a great space, with a view over Express Café and down towards Rosie’s. It’s unusual to see the market from this angle, and great for being nosy!

It’s a hidden-away Brixton gem with a strong ethos on sourcing the best seasonal ingredients for menus that are interesting and provide value for money, something that Nick feels very strongly about. He believes everyone should have access to a quality restaurant experience. Nick is a great supporter of the B£ and loves the community spirit among traders in the area. He sources a lot of his supplies from the market, always popping into Nour Cash and Carry and seeing other traders there.


Nick Balfe in Salon, Market Row. Photo by Tim Mitchell

Nick describes Salon as being very much “a Brixton restaurant”, one which he couldn’t see being anywhere else. When not in the kitchen he loves exploring other businesses in the area and will often be found getting stuck into an Honest Burger, having a cocktail at Sean’s Bar, or getting a caffeine fix at Federation.

On Thursday 8th May from 7pm Salon are holding a re-launch event to celebrate the extension of the Salon name to the deli. There will be drinks and food, and 20% off products in the deli for everyone during the event. Salon is also going to be offering 10% off for B£ customers on Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays. So come along on 8th May and find out more about Salon – another great way to spend #yourpound!

#YourPound – Meet the Trader: Focaccia Gastro Bar

Focaccia Gastro Bar opened in October 2013 in Brixton Village. This cosy eatery serves freshly baked focaccia bread filled with delicious Italian ingredients. The Classica is filled with homemade pesto, mozzarella, rocket, fresh tomatoes and the Parma with prosciutto, parmesan and sundried tomatoes. Many of the ingredients are bought locally. There are also delicious salads and soups of the day on the daily menu. We tried the pumpkin soup with walnut and parmesan, which tasted amazing!


Roberto Urban is the manager of Focaccia Gastro Bar. He was born in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) and then raised in Rome. He has always had a love for local products, food and wine that he inherited from his grandmother from Friuli Venezia Giulia, a region in the North-East of Italy famed for its cuisine. Roberto opened Focaccia Gastro Bar as he wanted to bring healthy and delicious Italian food he grew up with to Brixton at a reasonable price. We think with Focaccia Gastro Bar he has succeeded, they offer a lovely lunch for £5 – what a great way to spend #yourpound.

Focaccia Gastro Bar welcomes Brixton Pound customers. Here’s Roberto telling you why he think the Brixton Pound is good for our community:

We’ll see you there!


#yourpound – Meet Brixton East

Brixton East is an incredibly impressive building: the old warehouse (build in 1871) is arranged over two floors and its facades contain large glazed windows. Inside it is an extraordinary example of tasteful restoration – combining preservation with state of the art interior design.

After having served as a furniture factory and warehouse for more than 140 years the building was in need of some TLC. In 2012 Andy Luckett decided to take on this task. Since the reovations have been completed, he has hosted music videos, photo shootings, fashion shows, theater plays, a pop up shop, seasonal junk sales, and several art shows.

Andy named the multipurpose space after the old station that once stood above Barrington Road from 1866 until it’s closure in 1976. The Brixton East creates an open space, where all kind of people are welcome to have different experiences. Andy describes his future vision of the Brixton East as a place that reflects the spirit of Brixton, involves people and allows them to interact.

In the coming weeks he has a lively programme coming up and he invites all of you to be part of the events:

28th February until 9th March
Camberwell College of Art showing 130 students work

Friday, 14th March
Freedom Charity Breakout Brixton Art Auction

20th until 23rd March
Music & Love a collection of work

Thursday, 27th March
The Oshun collective: Survival guides exhibition

Friday, 28th March
An evening with Women of Colour

4th until 13th April
Ben Turnbull show

Brixton Pound is proud to have Brixton East on board and to be able to make it possible for the Brixton Pound users to rent the space, buy drinks, purchase some nice vintage furniture or buy art using the B£.

We will certainly keep you updated on the upcoming events at Brixton East. We look forward seeing you there!

Your B£ team

#yourpound – Meet the trader: Market Row Wines

Market_Row_WinesOpen since 2012 Market Row Wines is Brixton’s independent wine merchant located in Brixton’s Market Row, specialising in small-scale, independently produced wines and beers. It offers wine by the glass, off-sales, mixed and single cases (delivered free locally) and occasional tastings and events.

Market Row Wine’s main focus is on finding interesting, good-value wines between £8-£12. The shop owner David Simpson also stocks a few everyday wines below that price, including a refill service. There is however a range of more expensive bottles for special occasions. And despite its name, Market Row Wines also stock a large and changing range of local and craft beers (including Brixton Brewery, The Kernel and Partizan beers). David tells us that if there is something special you are searching for he’d be happy to order upon request.

Most of the wines are from small artisan producers, and the focus is on quality, without slavishly adhering to any particular fad or fashion. A good proportion of the wines happen to be organically or bio-dynamically produced, and fans of “natural” wines won’t be disappointed.

As of 2014 Market Row Wines opened its doors to Brixton Wine Club. These are monthly changing packages that you will receive delivered free to your home. There are several 6-pack options of Market Row Wines especially selected and including a discount price.

David supports the Brixton Pound and regularly offers discounts to B£ users. There is a 10% discount for B£ users on all wines and beers until end of February!

So get on board, sign up to pay-by-text here and support another wonderful Brixton business.


#yourpound – Meet the trader: Senzala

Senzala_B£We’re back to our ‘Meet the Trader’ blogs, and this week we feature Senzala. Located in Brixton Village, Senzala offers a wide range of delicious savoury and sweet Galettes and Crêpes as well as salads and tapas.

Claudia and Elieser the two owners explain: “The Senzalas were slave houses for plantations and farms in Brazil from the 16th to 19th centuries. It was from the Senzalas that much of Brazilian culture developed, such as Capoeira and popular dishes like Feijoada stew. We named our crêperie ‘Senzala’ in tribute to those who formed our Brazilian roots and influences.”

The menu features more background information on the French inspired specialities. You learn that a Crêpe is made of white flour and a Galette is made of buckwheat flour (and is vegan and gluten free).

Senzala offer an incredible variety fillings – there is something for everyone – be it the vegetarian “Caramelised Goat”, the vegan “Rosa Squash” or the “Full English”. Just recently they added additional vegan options to the menu and – can you imagine – all their drinks are vegan too (even the wines are produced without animal derived agents during the clarifying and fining process).

If you have a sweet tooth you can choose from the rich choice of sweet Crêpes. There you’ll find all the sweet temptations you can imagine: the “Apple D’amour” for example with homemade caramelised apple and cinnamon, maple syrup and crème fraîche or the “Rum and Passas” with raisins, organic rum, choice of Belgian chocolate and whipped cream…it makes my mouth water even writing about it!

In addition the colourful restaurant offers a variety of drinks: great coffee, organic teas, American milkshakes, fresh juices, wines, ciders, beers and ales and a good choice of cocktails. The daily happy hour (between 5 and 8pm) offers the perfect occasion for a first visit for those of you who have never been.

Senzala2_B£Since 2010 Elieser and Claudia are running this friendly place. Married since 2002, the two “Brasileiros” arrived in London over 15 years ago. They chose Brixton “because it has this community feeling and it is so diverse – we just love this mix, variety and the peculiar combination of so many different cultures and influences from all over the world”.

Senzala is strongly connected with the arts and exhibits a different artist every month. “Everybody is welcome to participate and sell their work, we are not taking any commission or fee, we just love the arts and want to support creative people”, says Claudia.

So Senzala is definitely more than just another restaurant – it is a wonderful mix of Brazilian colourfulness, French delicacy, metropolitan London which all adds to Brixton’s melting pot.

Have we tempted you? Don’t wait, visit Senzala for a drink, lunch or dinner and pay using money that sticks to Brixton!

#yourpound – Meet the Trader: Kaff Bar

This week we’re back to our meet the trader blogs and we have a very special business to write about…

If you’ve not yet visited Kaff Bar, you’re missing out! Kaff Bar is a hidden gem on Atlantic road. During the day it offers a welcoming and relaxed environment to chill, grab coffee and cake or a tasty lunch. The cakes are made locally and the food comes from local suppliers. There are a selection of books you can read and newspapers to read on weekends. We often find it to be the perfect place to have meetings or work on projects using their free wifi.

IMG_2519You might bump into Steve (pictured) who is the owner and manager. He or other members of staff can introduce you to a well-chosen selection of creative cocktails, beers, ciders and wines. We would recommend trying the Brixton Mule (white rum, local fresh ginger beer and lime juice) … its delicious and is available at the bargain price of £3 throughout the day! The cocktail menu has the shape of a deck of cards and your drinks may come from a jam jar, a mug, a soup can or even a milk bottle!

The entire atmosphere at the Kaff Bar is charming and welcoming: the unique wall paintings, the large vintage sofas, and the stage with the piano make the bar the perfect place to meet friends, have drinks and listen to good music.

Kaff Bar hosts regular events including ‘Meet Brixton’ arranged by the Brixton Blog and it also arranges nights with top local DJ’s, Bingo evenings and the Cake Club Cabaret (we can’t tell you more about it as the first rule of Cake Club is: ‘You don’t talk about Cake Club!’ – you’ll have to find out for yourself!).

So, what are you waiting for? Use your B£e to support the Kaff Bar. Make a special effort to support one of Brixton’s finest independent businesses this bank holiday weekend!

And remember to let us know what you think on Twitter… use the hash-tag: #yourpound!

#Yourpound – Meet the trader: 20storey

20 Storey This post comes straight from Canada, where during a presentation about arts and culture, our volunteer, Mario has found the inspiration to write a post on one of the most creative and artistic businesses in Brixton: 20storey

20storey is a gift shop on Market Row. It has an interesting selection of products. You can find books, cards, and gadgets inspired by the most famous works of art. Joe who opened 20storey last year will be more than happy to guide you through his world of hip and funky objects. Recently the shop had a featuring display for the Charles Saatchi book (see photo), the famous owner of the Saatchi gallery in Chelsea…not somewhere you can use #yourpound (your B£!)

Like all the businesses that accept the Brixton Pound, we have a strong link with 20storey. Joe has recently produced a funky new mug featuring the world famous, B£10 with David Bowie. You can buy it in store. You can also buy t-shirts celebrating Brixton, I was given one as a Christmas present and even oyster card holders that celebrate geeks!

Great Brixton

Moreover, we’ll have a stall opposite 20storey on the 15th June for our #shoplocal day. You’ve already got it in your diary, right?  Remember to top up your Brixton Pound account and spend your Brixton Pounds within the neighbourhood. It is a celebration… so gets ready to celebrate our local shops in the most appropriate way.BMJmy72CEAAvgkK.jpg-largeIn the meantime, this weekend why don’t you explore 20storey and let us know what you think. Send us a photo of your purchase on twitter: @brixtonpound #yourpound @20storeyJoe

#Yourpound – Meet the Trader: Satay Bar

Although we’re approaching the end of May it feels like it could be the middle of winter! Let’s hope the weather improves for ‘Shop Local’ day which getting closer. We hope that you’ve got the date in your diary and will be supporting Brixton’s local traders on the day. Remember you can increase your spending power by 10% by using B£ pay-by-text which is now accepted at 122 local businesses with more coming on board every week. Don’t be caught unprepared! Top up you pay-by-text account before the 15th June!

Now for this week’s blog…

Do you have a special event coming up? Are you looking for a good place to go for drinks before (or after!) going to the cinema? Or are just looking for somewhere to grab lunch during the week? Check out the wonderful Satay Bar. It is in the heart of Brixton, next door to the Ritzy.

satayday-copySatay Bar is a cocktail bar and restaurant at the start of Coldharbour Lane. It was founded in 1996 by a local entrepreneur. Like the other businesses we’ve featured over the past few weeks (Healthy Eaters and the House of Bottles), it is one of Brixton’s more established businesses that oozes sophistication, great food and friendly staff. Most Brixtonites will know it well… and for Brixton tourists ,don’t just take our word for it, check out Trip Adivsor … it has great reviews!

The restaurant menu ranges from Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai, Singaporean, Japanese and Chinese food. You can have the complete Pan Asian experience together with an interesting range of cocktails.  The venue is great too! We really enjoyed the Brixton Pound social we held there there last year and regulary have lunch there. In fact, here is a photo from lunch today!


So, don’t wait until 15th of June, go and have a drink or lunch at Satay Bar, and use your Brixton Pounds. Let us know the food you tried and what you think on Twitter (#yourpound).


#Yourpound: Meet the Trader – House of Bottles

24 days to go to our #ShopLocal event on the 15th of June! This week we’re blogging about another business that accepts Brixton Pounds: House of Bottles.


House of Bottles is more than just an off-licence. It can help you satisfy your thirst! Did you watch that episode of the Apprentice a few weeks ago when they learnt that beer can be more than just lager or ale? Well the House of Bottles has a huge variety of beers. Our volunteer, Mario visited to find out more and some bought honey beer, though he was nearly tempted by the banana bread beer! They also stock a wide range of  wines and liquors.

The staff are really friendly too. You can stop by and have a chat with Tony (the owner) or Salwam (pictured), who will be more than happy to guide you through what they have to offer.


The House of Bottles is also well know for the artwork of Morganico, outside the shop. Morganico is a rather talented artist that is “interested in making the world a more interesting and beautiful place by applying passion, inspiration and creativity” . He works on murals, carvings and portraits. The business opened in the early 2000s and has now been  on Coldharbour Lane for more than 10 years. Tony transformed the previous fishmonger (which had been onsite for 35 years) into an off-licence. Taking all this into account we can safely say that the House of Bottles is one of Brixton’s ‘historical’ places of interest! Its design, style, products, position and artwork all shout ‘made in Brixton!’


So, what are you waiting for? Use your B£ to support another Brixton gem and let us know what you think on Twitter… remember to use the hash-tag: #yourpound!