With Victoria Sheppard
When we looked at putting our "Women In Business" feature together to Celebrate International Women's Day 2021 Queens of Mayfair instantly came to mind. These two sisters are creating a huge buzz in Mayfair with a stunning artisan coffee shop with a sophisticated flair that only Grace and Victoria could deliver. We bring you a brief insight into this gorgeous brand and we hope you'll be able to pop into the shop... in person...within only a few short weeks!
"QUEENS OF MAYFAIR IS THE HOSPITALITY BUSINESS OF SISTERS GRACE & VICTORIA SHEPPARD. HAVING WORKED IN THE AREA FOR MANY YEARS THE SISTERS DECIDED TO CREATE THEIR DREAM VENUE INTO ALL THINGS THEY FELT WERE MISSING IN ONE PLACE IN THE W1 AREA. THE SISTERS PAY HOMAGE TO THEIR HOME COUNTY OF DORSET THROUGHOUT THE MENU AND THERE IS A FOCUS ON SEASONAL PRODUCE.
THE CORE OF QUEENS IS HIGH QUALITY AND ARTISANAL PRODUCE TO GIVE THE BASIS OF GREAT TASTE AND FLAVOURS FOR FOOD TO BOTH EAT IN AND TAKEAWAY."
What or when was your “ah ha” moment that led you to starting your business?
It was autumn 2019 when I was feeling that it was the right time to start my own business, having just turned 30 and sold a property in recent months. Grace and I are both passionate about great food and drink and having worked in the area for so long we really wanted somewhere more informal than a private members club but more than chain coffee shops could offer. Queens was really creating something that we and our peers felt was missing from Mayfair.
How do you motivate yourself when you’re having a bad day?
We have had a few of those launching during in a pandemic, however taking a step back, a couple of hours away from a situation can always help. Also remembering much of what we have experienced in 2020 with the business is beyond our control so not to become stressed by things we cannot change.
How do you celebrate a win or a successful pitch / sale / contract / tender etc?
Its always at Queens so it could be over a coffee and sharing a slice or cake, a lunch or if at the end of the day we may ask our mixologist to try a new cocktail on us!
Talk us through your morning routine?
On a typical (non lockdown) working day it would be waking up at 6am, checking emails, reading last nights service report, getting the children ready for school then the school run, a 45 minute gym session then travelling to Queens. A couple of days a week I work from home and do any calls that need quiet space.
Coffee … Decaf or full-on?
I love an Oat Milk Latte, we have been spoilt with Queens of Mayfair coffee. However I am also a huge tea fan, English breakfast, Jasmine, fresh mint.
Cocktails or Champagne or AF?
My favourite cocktail at Queens is The Crown Jewels – which is Tattinger champagne and Elderflower, however I also love a rum Old Fashioned or a glass of Pinot Noir. However most of the time I am alcohol free.
Best book / podcast recommendation for aspiring women entrepreneurs?
Thrive by Arianna Huffington is a great book by a female entrepreneur juggling work-life and family. She delves into strategies to best manage a multi faceted life.
Where do you see your brand / business in the next 2 years? – new markets, new products, new locations etc?
We have been planning this since pre-launch, we are discussing taking the brand to international territories and would love to launch in other prime locations in London. We are also planning on more Queens branded products especially in the drinks department.
What would be the single best piece of advice you would give your younger self?
Trust your instincts!
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