The Holborn Workshop, which popped-up just before Christmas is a real life showcase for The Holborn, a quarterly magazine of culture, style and craft.
The property on Hackney Road, which up until recently was home to London’s oldest ironmongers Daniel Lewis and Son, has been transformed into a café-cum-retail space by The Holborn’s editor Morgan Hamilton Griffin and his fiancé Julia Wyatt of Green Tea Architects.
“To be the first new business in here for two hundred years is quite a daunting,” says Morgan. “I’m a journalist and Julia is an architect, we have not done retail or anything like this before. We have learnt an awful lot in a short period of time.”
“However, I don’t see too much of a difference in editing a magazine and curating a shop, because it is all about telling stories, just using slightly different tools. Instead of writing and telling stories through print, you are doing it in a more physical capacity, in how you lay things out, but also how you communicate with people, there is a lot of synergy between the two.”
What started as a pop-up venture for the newly engaged couple has now turned into a six- month residency, and Morgan is aiming to launch a Kickstarter campaign to get their magazine to print.
According to Morgan, at the heart of the workshop is quality produce: “We like to be local and celebrate London produce. In particular, our pastries are from a bakery called Rinkoffs, which is a 102-year-old Jewish bakery run by master baker Ray Rinkoff, grandson to Hyman Rinkoff who came across from the Ukraine.”
“It is a lovely story, and to top it all off their pastries are brilliant. Their bread and bagels are supplied to Selfridges and Harrods, which all come from this bakery tucked down this ridiculous alleyway in Mile End in the middle of a housing estate, but inside there is all this history.”
Morgan who was born and bred in the borough of Hackney says it has been interesting to see how the East End is evolving: “I’ve known different parts of Hackney at different stages of my life. I still can’t believe Wilton Way. There are fashion shops down there now. When I was a teenager you didn’t go down because you might get stabbed. Monacle even did a feature on it recently which came up on my laptop over breakfast; I almost choked.”
“So much is changing but lots of my working class families still live here. The workshop does go with the east trend, but then we live in the area because we like the history and I wouldn’t go so far to refer to Julia or I as hipsters!”
The Holborn Workshop will run until May, for opening times visit the workshop’s website here.