August 12, 2015

Hatch is so on it, we don’t even want to call it a cafe, because that would not only be misleading, but also a gross understatement. A multi-purpose space nestled right next to Homerton Overground, it is a cafe, bar, hot-desking zone, host to various delicious food pop-ups, showcase for local designers and last but not least, a barbers (say what?). Not only do they have so much going on we can’t keep track, the space is beautiful. So of course, we took a visit down to Homerton for our August menswear shoot at Hatch, where we caught up with the co-founder of Hatch to find out more.

UO: Can you tell us a bit about the story of Hatch? How did it all begin?

Hatch began as a concept back in 2012 when we’d noticed the growing trend for people using spaces outside of their specified uses. I always wanted to create a place that would have a great community atmosphere whatever time of the day. We started converting the old newspaper print shop garage, where hatch is located in December 2013 and threw the doors open just over a year ago.

UO: Hatch is such a diverse space that’s used not only as a cafe but as an event space, barber’s shop, and meeting space. Can you tell us a bit about the various happenings at Hatch?

The philosophy behind Hatch is that we want the space to be used in as many different ways as possible, in the hope that we can help “Hatch” small businesses. We’ve got numerous businesses and pop-ups like our barber, Strop and Blade, and Welligama Sri Lankan egg hoppers, whose pop-up started a few weeks ago and whose Sri Lankan pancakes we’re very excited about. We’ve got desk spaces for designers and freelancers, we lease shelf space to local independent designers, we sell antique furniture and we even offer Hatch out to film shoots too. To be honest I could keep listing things – suffice to say if you’ve got a nice idea and it would fit in Hatch we’ll do our best to help!

Shop: OBEY Dissent Til The End Tee and Obey Good Times Tee

UO: We love that you have a barber as part of Hatch – How did you come to work with Strop and Blade?

Ben Cornwall’s Strop and Blade barber was our 1st pop-up and our longest resident. Ben has a fantastic background working in some of the best barber shops in London. He came to Hatch after hearing what we do and after he gave me a little trim, we decided that it was a perfect match for him to set up in Hatch. Strop and Blade goes from strength to strength – though he’s in big demand so it’s always advisable to book ahead.

UO: Can you walk us through a typical working day at Hatch?

A typical day at Hatch doesn’t really exist! If we’ve got a quiet day with no big events, shoots or meetings then we’ll open the cafe at 8. We serve a range of homemade healthy brunch and lunch bits. Strop and Blade will be cutting away in the corner with perhaps a few designers working at our desks. On the weekend we might have someone set up outside selling food and maybe one of our independent designers putting on a workshop. Our tip – the hot workshop to get to at the moment is Sophie’s Grain and Knot spoon carving.

Shop: New Era Chicago Cubs Snapback Cap

UO: What’s been the stand-out moment in your Hatch career to date?

Hatch’s first birthday was an amazing weekend. We invited down everybody that has worked with/for/inside/outside/alongside us and must have had about 20 different things going on over the weekend with live music, great food and an incredible atmosphere. That was a real high point to see everybody together.

Shop: Nudie Jeans Lean Dean 16 Drips Jeans, adidas Originals Superstar 80s Trainers

UO: What have been the biggest challenges of owning your own business?

One of the biggest drives going into business was the freedom of not having a boss. It’s fantastic to have the freedom to do things your own way and even better to try and help other people achieve that freedom and start working for themselves. The thing you don’t realize however, is that work never ends. Working for yourself means you’re the boss now and that means you’re working 24hrs a day, seven days a week. A real thrill in a lot of ways but it’s definitely the biggest challenge as well.

UO: What would your advice be to aspiring business owners?

Be prepared, make sure you’ve got your product and immediate finances planned, at least to a break-even degree, but then take the leap. It’s scary leaving the security of a full-time job and stepping into the unknown but after you go through your first few hiccups and highs it all becomes much easier. The fear becomes part of life and you’ll adapt as and when you need to without even thinking about it.

Shop: T-shirt Mickey Athletic Club Tee

UO: You’ve collaborated with a lot of interesting, local businesses including 26 Grains, Carpenter’s Gin, East Wick candles and more. Do you feel part of a community of independent businesses in London? What do you do to support each other?

Definitely. We’ve seen a huge growth in independent business in London, especially East London – and I hope Hatch is becoming a centre for the community. I think one of the biggest boosts that comes from working in collaboration with other small businesses is the networking ability. We’ve met, and helped others to meet, so many people that have helped inspire and evolve ideas.

UO: What’s been the most memorable event you’ve hosted at Hatch?

A couple of our regular desk users, James and Will hosted an incredible night of alternative literature and local film-makers recently. The boys have a small publication called Belleville Park Pages which we sell in store.

Shop: Ben Sherman Black Gingham Shirt and Ben Sherman Red & White Gingham Shirt
Shop: Blood Brother Hollow Funnel Sweatshirt and Blood Brother Train Sweat Top