Spinelli celebrates 7 years in Kemp Town


Seventh Heaven

Kemp Town Village favourite, Spinelli, celebrates an anniversary with a new chef, a new menu and a new look

It hardly seems possible that Kemp Town Village favourite, Spinelli, should be celebrating its seventh year anniversary this month. When it launched seven years ago, owner Carlo Torre had a very clear vision of what he wanted to offer customers. Originally from San Francisco, Carlo was keen to recreate here the burgeoning coffee culture that had started in Seattle and was sweeping the west coast and beyond – right across the United States.

The UK was yet to really latch on to that emerging trend, except perhaps for a few major chains. But the major chains were in no way what Carlo was aiming to emulate; far from it. Spinelli was destined to offer something very different, something that bit more special – in fact, very special: an independent coffee company for a city that is champion of independent business.

When it opened, it was immediately noticed and taken into the hearts of Kemp Town locals, both residents and people who travelled to work in one of the city’s most popular shopping villages.

“That immediate positive response was fabulous, and a clear indication that the UK was indeed ready for what I wanted to offer. Very soon we had a large and loyal clientèle, and many many regulars across the day. In the early mornings we were busy with people on their way to work. They were followed by parents, who, having dropped their kids at the local schools, were ready for a coffee or breakfast, a meeting with friends or taking time for a quite moment alone, perhaps reading one of the newspapers or magazines that we always have available.”

An independent coffee shop for a city that is champion of independent business

For seven years, Spinelli has maintained that level of popularity and of service – but times change and Carlo is very aware of how markets evolve and what people come to expect.
“I knew it was time to take our brand forward and celebrate the anniversary by taking a good look at what we offer and how we present ourselves. It could be seen as a seven year itch, but I prefer to think of it as organic growth. With this in my sights I decided to recruit a new chef, and I am delighted to say that Jayme Flood has now joined us, bringing with him some very exciting new culinary ideas. Jayme comes from a business called Marmalade of which I have the greatest respect for. So when I was able to get Jayme – who had also cooked at Pelham House in Lewes – on board, it was very exciting.

He has created for us a new menu that incorporates the very best of both British and American classics.

It is a more balanced menu than we have offered before, with great dishes like house-made waffles, steak and red wine pie, and chocolate and Guinness cake that can be enjoyed throughout that day, rather than focusing on breakfast and brunch alone.

“We have also always been very proud of the coffees that we make; what American style coffee house could not? We have now decided to roast our own blends of coffee. It gives us total control of both the flavour and quality of the coffee that we serve and we know that our customers really appreciate that.
“It also seemed the right time to take a look at our interior and give it a fresh new look, but we will not be losing the relaxed atmosphere and style of what we have established. And we remain open to all with a relaxed attitude to our diverse range of customers and their needs, from providing papers and mags, to welcoming dogs and of course children, at all times. It was definitely time for Spinelli to move forward, and stripping back to the basics of great food and excellent coffee with new colours and decor has certainly given the team here a new energy. We are busier than ever, and loving what we are doing – in fact, it really is seventh heaven.”
Spinelli, 24 Garnett House, College Rd, Brighton, BN2 1EU, 01273 818819, www.spinellicoffee.co.uk
Open 7 days a week, 8am-6pm Mon to Fri,8am-5.30pm Sat to Sun

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