The dream of building a cafe might be a common goal for some people. Decorating a place with lights, filling cupboards with books, and just surrounding the whole room with the aroma of coffee.
As an entrepreneur, Deepak has always dreamt of the same thing. It stemmed from the fact that coffee shops were part of his journey to build his group of companies. He has experienced working in various coffee shops ever since he was 23. (Well, thanks to remote working, he can enjoy good cups of coffee anywhere!)
He started that habit way back in 2011 when he entered the world of freelancing, entrepreneurship, and small businesses. The coffee shops he went to? Well, you name it– Starbucks, Costa, and other independent coffee shops around the area. He just went out there, sat, ordered coffee, and worked with his laptop.
Aside from that, it's also partly because of the culture in the UK, where you can see coffee shops left and right.
So to speak, the idea of having his own coffee shop was appealing and attractive. But it wasn't just a dream– it was a goal he wanted to strive for. And so, he made sure that it would happen one way or another. That's how driven he is.
Pearl Lemon Cafe, the shop you're seeing today, has been in the making for several years. But it actually started unravelling when a change in his life occurred.
His partner, Daniela, was a mature student set to graduate in the class of 2022. She majored in osteopathy since that is where her passion lies. And Deepak, as a loving and supportive partner, paved the way for Daniela to practice her passion at home. They converted the second bedroom of their flat into a studio where Daniela could do what she loves.
But as it turned out, there were better paths to take than that option.
Deepak wanted to take her partner to a residential home— where she could have more space–but those were just so impractical as of that moment.
However, an opportunity for a virtual freehold unit came into the picture. Our founder immediately took that chance and grabbed it. It was a win-win situation since Daniela was going to do osteopathy full-time, and they could no longer handle using the bedroom at home as her studio.
As they were acquiring the property, Deepak discovered that there was also a unit for rent near the planned pilates studio. He was surprised to know that both units were near their flat.
Well, it just made sense to go for both, so he did. Now, that is where the cafe stands.
But the journey didn't end there. Deepak realised it was really happening, so he needed to plot out his plans one by one.
He needed to:
- Arrange for the lease agreements,
- Talk to the contractors amping up the place,
- Buy equipment,
- Pick up a design for the place,
- Conceptualise the shop's theme,
- Customise the menu,
- Hire people, and
- Research the market he could touch upon.
It was just a whole thing he needed to get done, but Deepak was ready for that because, as we've mentioned, it has long been in the making. Should you wish to know more about the in-depth process of making it– you can read about it here.
There were also people of note that helped out in the process of building his dream cafe. Axel, who is now his business partner; Habiba, who lovely serves coffee at the shop; Jay, who offered to manage the store; Lydia, who took care of the administrative things; and his Pearl Lemon family, who built the online presence of his shop.
In the future, Deepak envisions Pearl Lemon Cafe expanding across London, where entrepreneurs, workers, and even the youth can come to hang out, have coffee, and serve as working hubs for them– just like coffee shops were for him before.