First Steps

New ideas in Autumn

Testing, experimenting, tasting…I have been pretty busy in the kitchen recently. I love getting up in the morning, having breakfast and thinking of new ideas of what to make next. Sometimes I wake up with a new idea straight away and it does not take long until I find myself on the market to get all ingredients I need. I often go to Brixton Market to get my fruit and veg and on Sundays I frequent Herne Hill’s City & Country Farmers’ Market or stroll through Brixton’s very own Farmers Market. In between, a pit stop at Federation Coffeea little D-Tour through Brockwell Park and I am ready!

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I realise that all my recent creations are scattered around Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – I know!! Who would have thought I am becoming a Social Media Warrior. Until a few months ago I did not even know how to send a Tweet and now I am all over it! And I am now on Instagram too!! I managed to find the upload button recently which is great progress.

Anyway, so I got some complaints from family and friends who are not on any of those social media sites. Hence, I thought I summarise all my creations to date here. Let me know what your thoughts are and what you would want to try most! 🙂

My very first opportunity to wow my audience came up this October. It was my first ‘Tasting and Sampling’ session in front of a panel of experts as part of the CREATE programme.

 

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Baked Duck Egg on Tomato Pepper Ragout with Sourdough Bread

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Goats Cheese Sandwich with Fresh Figs, Algarve Honey and Basil

 

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Coconut Quinoa Porridge with Caramelised Pineapple and Mixed Nuts

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Elevator Pitch – Presenting my Business Idea to a Penal of Experts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following overwhelmingly positive response to my concept and dishes, I continued experimenting at home.

November arrived and my head was full of ideas and I had lots of energy! In the meantime I inquired about getting professional help from a photographer to take pictures of my food. Everyone I spoke to was very kind to offer me their services at their minimum day rate. But even that would have set me back around £1,000. I decided for the cheaper option – DIY! I have been interested in photography for some time now, which resulted in me buying a semi-professional DSLR camera last year. This is a perfect occasion to develop my photography ‘talents’ further. It’s not perfect but I am getting there!

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Butternut Squash Pancakes (no butter, reduced sugar), with Caramelised Apple, Pomegranate and Lyle’s Maple Syrup

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Diary free, butterless, reduced sugar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November is also the season for Beetroot! I absolutely love Beetroot. Those amazing roots are packed with powerful nutrients and have a distinctly sweet and earthy flavour. Just what you need to kick start your immune system. I pretty much tried all versions – cooked, roasted, grated, pureed, hot or cold as a soup or juice..anything goes.

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Hangover Breakfast! Fried Egg on Sourdough Bread with Roasted Beetroot Puree, Rocket Leaves and more Feta

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Golden Beets Feast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The days have become shorter and colder now and I was longing for something that reminded me of cozy evenings in the winter. Kaiserschmarrn! I had Kaiserschmarrn up in the Alpes when I went skiing as a child! Whilst it is a popular dish in South Germany, it is actually an Austrian desert! It is named after emperor KaiserFranz Joseph I of Austria, who was very fond of this kind of fluffy shredded pancakes, which typically come with warm fruit compote. I served my Kaiserscharrn with warm Apfelmus and a Strawberry/Blueberry coulis! 🙂

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You can find me exploring the city as soon as I have a bit of time. I really enjoy cycling around town on the look out for new inspiration and brunch spots. This is when I fell in love with Banana Bread. I am not a big fan of Bananas but this was different. Almost every Brunch place I went to offered a toasted slice of this lovely treat with various accompaniments like espresso butter (BrickWood Coffe & Bread) or banana puree with salted chocolate crumbs (Salvation Jane).

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Brickwood Coffee & Bread – Clapham Common

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Salvation Jane – Off Old Street Roundabout

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I tweaked my Banana Bread recipe and made it healthier by replacing butter with Viridian 100% Organic Raw Virgin Coconut Oil. I also reduced the amount of refined sugar and added one extra ripe banana instead. I replaced some of the flour with coconut flakes and added some blueberries. Best eaten fresh out of the oven! Heaven! 🙂

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Coconut Banana Bread with Blueberries

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So easy to make, takes no longer than 15 minutes + baking time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November is also a month of birthdays! Five people in my immediate circle of friends have their birthdays within a space of two weeks! I debated with many of my German friends whether it is only me or some kind of German tradition that a good birthday always starts with a fabulous birthday table and birthday cake/breakfast in the morning. When I had to be at work at 8am, I would get up an hour earlier than usual just to not miss my birthday morning surprise! It’s just one of those things I get excited about…

To mark my flatmate’s birthday and surprise her in the morning, I made Cinnamon Buns for the very first time. I have been raving about them so much and what better way to wake up in the morning than with the smell of cinnamon!  Moist on the inside, crunchy on the outside. Some powder sugar (aka icing sugar) on top and …delicious! Best eaten warm with a hot cup of tea in Pjs ;p

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If you feel the winter blues is setting in, get cozy, treat yourself with something you like and share it with those you love! x

 

Naming Competition

Happy to announce that BreadBox will be undergoing a re-brand in the next few weeks!

Part of the re-brand will be a NEW NAME! This is your chance! Let me know your creative ideas which convey quality, innovation, cleverness and personality.

Should your suggestion be chosen, you will be named on our ‘wall of fame’ and we will make sure that your coffee with us is on the house!

Deadline Sunday, 19th of October, midnight.

I look forward to all your ideas! x

Here a few pics to get your creativity going (the pictures apart from the bread are taken from the internet and are for illustrative purposes only)

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E5 Bakehouse home baking

E5 Bakehouse home baking

Giving my idea a name – nightmare

Naming my Business Idea and giving it a Logo it deserves – Not that easy after all! 

Naming

Over the past few months I was trying to come up with a suitable name for my business idea. I can tell you, it is quite tough!! It is like naming your newborn. I mean you want others to remember your child’s name and not create a platform for it to be teased, don’t you? Now I know what parents-to-be have to go through!

So I decided for Bread Box – It is short, contains the word ‘Bread’ and has a rustic and artisan feel to it, don’t you think? But does it imply a new wave of brunch? Or German Bread recipes?  I practise in my own time…Shall we go to Bread Box for Brunch? Coffee at Bread Box?

Other ideas for a name include:

German Bird (kinda funny and I liked the associations with a free bird)
Eggcellent (self-explanatory)
Brotzeit (english: Bread Time)
Kater (German for hangover but also refers to the male cat (hmpf!))
Morning Glory (cheeky!)
Brünch (love the German Umlaut)

I put it to a vote! Which name is your favourite?

Please feel free to get creative and come up with any suggestion of your own. I already had some great brainstorming sessions with a few friends of mine and perhaps they would like to come forward and share some of their ideas with everyone here? The winner will be awarded generously in one way or another 😉

Concept & Logo Design

Despite me having completed an interior design course not too long ago (took me TWO years!!), I was not convinced I could come up with something amazing on my own. And I was still working full time, which didn’t help! I needed some professional assistance!

I remember from my final days at University that we had to write a Final Project/Thesis based on a ‘real’ project with ‘real’ clients. Why not do the same! I approached KLC  and a few other interior design colleges in London to inquire about the possibility of having one of their final-year students help me with my project. A win-win situation. I created an advert and received great responses. I met with three candidates and chose Adam who had just graduated. He had prepared this amazing sketch book for me all about Brunch. Winner!

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Following a few meetings and brainstorming sessions we came up with a mood board and logo.

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I wanted to have a slightly chunky letter font, again resembling the rustic and artisan feel to my concept. I love the light green because it creates a sense of freshness. The ‘B’ on the right is based on the idea of having an emblem, which can also be used alone and customers still associated it with my Bread Box cafe.

Bread Box without B

Brunch Box with B

But now I am curious to know what YOU think about it! I look forward to reading your comments!

Key Considerations when choosing to take a Risk

Some people think it is brave what I am doing, some people think it is silly. I think it is neither but being honest to myself and I would like to pass on some initial advice if I may to those of you who are also thinking of taking a risk. I mean any risk that involves major changes in your life:

  • Speak to family and friends about it, because you will need their support when things are getting tough.   I know I will have to face challenges and that I will turn to the ones I care most about for support and advice.
  • Be aware that your circle of friends might change slightly. You might want to surround yourself with those who share the same passion and interests as you. But those that are close to you will want to enjoy the journey with you.
  • Do your home work. Do not just blindly follow your a passion. Be honest to yourself and think about whether it is just a hobby or interest or whether it is your vocation. Make a plan, build a network and prepare yourself in advance.
  • Have the financial ability to survive a good few months without a proper income. Being self employed means there is always uncertainty about when you next get paid. Have a backup.
  • Have SMART goals. Be clear about what you want to achieve, when and how. Think short, medium and long term and be realistic. Nothing worse than getting a sense of failure the whole time because you set yourself too high targets. You might deviate from your route in between because of money, time or other external factors which you cannot control, but never forget why you decided to take a risk.

Ok, so much wisdom on one page! ;p Please note that I have written the above at the beginning of my journey. I will add to it as I go along or perhaps you have some wisdom to share? Let me know and I will make a note!

xx

The Beginning of a New Chapter – Business Planning

So there I was…free as a bird. Stronger than ever.

I always had a passion for food, especially breakfast and brunches and German breads. Growing up in Germany, it was not difficult to fall in love with the breakfast culture. Over the years I had travelled a lot. I visited Uruguay for 6 weeks, then to Argentina, Spain, various cities across Europe, then to Australia for 3 weeks… So many new cultures, beautiful people, foods and traditions, all of which influenced my passion for Food and my upcoming food ventures.

I have had the idea of opening my own food business for about two years. But I was unsure when I should really go for it? When is the right time? I realised that I could always look for excuses not to do it right now! But I thought surely there will come a time, when it is too late! I did not want to wake up one day and regret I have not tried.

So I started my Business Plan about 1.5 years (on and off) before I actually left my permanent employment. Having returned from Australia in the beginning of 2014, I knew I had to do it. I have developed my concept on paper, I have done my research, I have assessed every possible competitor in town and I have saved up some money. I was ready.

I got out there and connected with people who shared similar ideas and passions and I came across some very exciting projects, which I got involved in.

Grow:Brixton – A mixed-used urban development made from shipping containers in the heart of Brixton. I am part of this project because I love the area I live in and I wanted to see Brixton grow and flourish. Thank you Mak and Will for welcoming me in the way you did. You definitely have the passion and dedication that will make any project a success.

Black Sheep Coffee  (Leave the herd behind) – A new coffee brand using Robusta beans as opposed to the more traditional Arabica bean. The brand was lunched by three entrepreneurs my age who also come from backgrounds in business. Thank you Max for having encouraged me to do what I want to do and having given me the chance to meet your team and get hand-on coffee-making experience.

Lambeth Food Partnership The Lambeth Food Partnership – I got a freelance job as Project Coordinator for the LFP and I will be involved in creating a more sustainable food culture in Lambeth. This is going to be super exciting for our borough.

I am partaking in CREATE – a programme to support food start-ups in the borough. What an amazing course, I can only recommend it to anyone who is looking to open their own food business in Lambeth.

Brixton Cornercopia  Start-Up Seminar – a neighbourhood restaurant, which has been running a successful business in the heart of the Brixton Village Market for five years now, has launched a seminar and one-on-one consultation for women who want to open their own food business. What a fantastic way to share your expertise. Thank you Cornercopia!

All of this illustrates that if you really want something, there are people who want to help you. And this is only the beginning of my journey…

 

Saying goodbye is the hardest bit…

My last day at work was quite emotional.

The past few months in the run up to this day were quite intense I must admit. Often I struggled to explain what I was going to do because I felt I spoke another language all of the sudden, a language that not everyone understood in my team. After all I was pursuing a passion without moving on to some other full-time job. What was I? An entrepreneur? not really. A freelancer? Yes, perhaps, for now anyway. A Foodie? Well no wonder they challenged me. But after all they meant well in challenging me. They care a lot and I am grateful for that. I am going to miss that crazy bunch.

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So my last day had arrived and it was officially time to say goodbye. The morning was fine, I had a big smile on my face, which was quite irritating to some of my team members. The afternoon was ok too, still smiling…but then around 4pm I got a bit wobbly. It started to dawn on me. I was going to leave a place that encouraged me to think big, that gave me security and payed my bills, nice dinners and holidays. I was about to leave behind my corporate career – because I had other plans for myself.

I could not wait to finally work on all my ideas full time. I had a lot of ideas, I have some start up money and the energy to make this all happen.
Once I sent my farewell email to everyone, I was overwhelmed by the responses. Tears started running down my face and I started to snivel when people stopped by to say goodbye. I left work with a mixed feeling of sadness and pure excitement. I thought to myself this is going to be good. This is going to be the start of a new chapter and I am taking my life into my own hand.
At home I cried. And I cried even more. So many emotions have built up over the past few weeks. Again I am leaving behind what I was so attached to for so long. Another break up. Saying good bye and letting go is the hardest bit..
I am so thankful that my three housemates were home when I got in. A few drinks and chats later my world looked much brighter again…Thank you girls ! x
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