Wednesday, 1st November, 2017
Business Profile: BOKI
More than coffee is a phrase BOKI live by. It’s true, despite the seemingly simplistic ritual of ordering a cup of your favourite java, the coffee shop has evolved into a new social tradition and is changing the way the world drinks.
From picking out your favourite blend to sampling the many complex menu items popping up year on year; including cold press brews and matcha lattes. The coffee shop is a hang out, a home from home and a savvy business opportunity. Coffee culture is here to stay and despite contrary reports of an over saturated market consumer demand is most definitely showing no sign of waning.
BOKI, situated in the Seven Dials area of London, benefits from the expertise and passion of its owners Boris Becker and Kim Mahony Hargreaves (together they are BOKI). Fortunately for their customers despite sharing a name with a former World No. 1 tennis player, Boris’ great passion is instead grinding and roasting coffee, offering his customers a unique spin on the coffee and café genre. Alongside his business partner and co-founder Kim, they have combined key influences from Boris’ international background in Asia, and Kim’s love of British quality producers of dairy, beef and cider from his home town in Herefordshire.
BOKI was conceptualised back in 2014, Boris and Kim combined their careers in hospitality and business management to develop their first venture in the form of a pop up within Urban Villa Hotel in Brentford, West London. Following on from its success they opened their first stand-alone venture in late July, where BOKI continued to incorporate the same rich coffee blends with their flavoursome signature dishes.
“We want to showcase delicious flavours and great tasting, high quality, and authentic produce – morning to night,” says Kim. “Our first independent BOKI venture aims to further evolve our previous coffee industry experience to provide our distinctive stamp to quality, creativity and innovation - from the suppliers sourced, dishes produced, drinks brewed, blended and paired to the atmosphere created and service delivered.”
We speak to Kim, owner and co-founder of BOKI, from their proudest moment to the future of hot beverages we find out why BOKI is more than coffee.
Tell us about yourself –
BOKI stands for Boris and Kim, two friends who met in the film industry and bonded over a love of coffee, food and design.
What inspired you to start BOKI? –
I have a background in hospitality, managing bars and cafe’s and Boris has a genuine love of hospitality, food and drink with a background in business.
The inspiration was to give people a relaxed place to go day or night where they know they’ll receive excellent and exciting products with fun and friendly customer service.
What is the best thing about working in the coffee industry?
It has to be having Allpress espresso on tap all day!
What is your proudest moment?
Opening the doors to the public for the first time
Which trends are really taking off at the moment?
We try not to chase trends but we have seen a lot of interest in our delicious turmeric latte.
How did you settle on the design of your stores?
We had an idea in our head but once we saw the space, quite unique, with a natural skylight at the back we knew we wanted to split the space into two separate areas, the coffee side and the bar side.
We worked closely with Moscow based firm Melspace who really pulled all our ideas together and solidified them into a unique space.
What are your most popular hot beverages?
Definitely our flat white and double espresso.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself…
I grew up in the remote Golden valley, Herefordshire with only a windmill for electricity. Boris was once assistant to film composer Hans Zimmer.
What is next for BOKI?
We want to establish ourselves as a top venue in Seven Dials and then look to open more sites in the future.
What do you think is next for the hot beverage industry?
People are becoming much more discerning and are increasingly interested in quality – I think restaurants, hotels and retail will all step up their game.