Coco di Mama prepares to open second London site

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: City of london

Coco di Mama, which opened its first site in London's Fleet Street last year, is preparing to open its second restaurant on the corner of London Wall and Moorgate
Coco di Mama, which opened its first site in London's Fleet Street last year, is preparing to open its second restaurant on the corner of London Wall and Moorgate
Coco di Mama, the Italian fast casual and quick service operator founded by a former investment banker and management consultant, opens its second site in the City of London at the end of May.

The restaurant on the corner of London Wall and Moorgate follows the opening just over a year ago of the first venue for the company​ on Fleet Street in the capital.

Daniel Land and Jeremy Sanders founded the company after the long-term friends decided that years of working in the city and travelling round Italy had shown them there was a lack of quick but high quality Italian food available. 

Expectations

The concept focuses on delivering good, modern, affordable Italian food, especially pasta, alongside premium coffee - working with coffee roasters Climpson & Sons, Coco di Mama created a signature espresso blend for the brand named The Baron.

"There are certain pockets of London like Soho where you have got loads of great cool independents but the City is just not like that," 29-year-old Land said speaking to BigHospitality. He admitted the last 18 months had been a very difficult period but it had been great to work with a good friend on a concept they both felt was needed. 

"We have just had our expectations surpassed by a mile. We always said let’s get it right at Fleet Street. People are always trying to show you stuff and we were always batting them away saying we are not ready but then things were really starting to go well and this great spot came up," he said.

The pair remain very hands-on with sourcing traditional ingredients inspired by trips to Italy - they use Sicilian Al Bronzo pasta which is pulled using traditional bronze machines as opposed to modern Teflon equivalents.

"A lot of the spiel that some of our competitors give about preparing fresh on site every day is a big porky. They get their dressings and pesto brought in whereas we do everything ourselves. The customers have proven that is the right call," Land said.

Arjun Waney

Both sites follow the strategy of opening up in areas with a high concentration of offices and workers but where there is a limited amount of new or independent lunchtime restaurant concepts. The 700sq.ft venue is on track to open in the last week of May after a small refurb. Land, a former Merrill Lynch banker, will be heading up the team on site for the first few months.

After the idea was first born the Coco di Mama pair were on the hunt for backing for the project - two of their most high profile investors are restaurant entrepreneur Arjun Waney and former Marks and Spencer chief executive Sir Stuart Rose. Land said both were impressed the pair had given up high-profile jobs to follow the concept and had given advice on the offering, the branding and growing the business.

Land revealed the company was focused on the two sites for the moment but believed the concept had further room to grow. "Our food definitely has an evening appeal but I don't think we will change from our core offering. If everything goes well at London Wall and we are confident that we can take the next step then opening up in another location that might have a bit of evening trade is really interesting," he said.

Related topics: Business, Venues, People, Restaurants

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