Back in November 2010 we found ourselves with the keys to a fully stocked Off Licence. We were looking for someone to take over the lease of what was then Kids Love Ink Tattoo Studio. Even though they had set up and stocked the place, the person decided at the final hour before signing that he didn't want to commit, handed us back the keys and waved goodbye.
We had a choice... either try to find someone else to take over the lease or do something ourselves with the space. After much deliberating and looking at what the high street was lacking, a place that served good coffee and a veggie/vegan menu was desperately needed.
We had no money at all!!! Doing everything by ourselves was the only way to go. So we set about selling everything in the shop... and I mean EVERYTHING!!! Local hero Terry took the home goods, chocolates, crisps and what else he could sel. We hosted an exhibition by Fos, founder of Heroin Skateboards and New Cross skating legend where we offloaded most of the booze; the remainder of which went to a local punk venue. Even the long since gone Shitals took all the racking from the walls... even if it WAS screwed down, if it could sold... it was!
After many long, tiresome days but few short weeks of renovations, the Waiting Room began to shape. Using near entire back catalogues of Scorpions, Rush, Iron Maiden and AC/DC as our musical motivation we got pallets from Resolution Way, stripped them down and used them for the counter, found paint and all sorts from Freecycle, travelled to Southend for a sofa. For next to nothing we luckily got our hands on our first grinder and Espresso machine, our trusty old Rancillio Epoca. Much like your first car, it was terrible but you loved it unconditionally. We still can't express enough thanks for the help that Camilla from Union Hand Roasted gave us from way before day 1; the training and support, helping us through choosing coffees and giving a serious MOT to the Rancillio.
Splinters, blood, sweat and many beers, on April 1st 2011 we opened the doors where we held a benefit for those who suffered and lost their lives in the 2011 Tsunami.
Humble beginnings for sure.
Anyone who knows Deptford now no doubt heard about how much its changed from its shady past, but even back in 2011, it was a completely different place to what it is now. We were well received from the outset but we still had our work cut out for us. It was just myself and Kev for a very long time. 8am starts, 7pm finishes, 6 days a week then falling alseep over pints at the Birds Nest. As time went on and the busier we got, we started to take on some staff. The list is long... but all of them awesome. It was these people who truly made the Waiting Room what it was and what it still is today.
But, the time has now come for us to move on from our location at 142 Deptford High Street. As it seems an all too common occurrence these days, the Landlord is not looking to renew the lease so he can develop the property. Re-occuring leaks, unfixed damage and a far from understanding Landlord all indicate that it is time to move but still this has taken us by surprise... we have had no way of saving up for this eventuality.
Deptford is our home, especially the High Street and we are desperate to stay.
Over the last 7 years we have become an integral part of the community... it really would be a shame and break our hearts if the Waiting Room was to close.
But, good news! We have a proposed new site... bigger and better and only spitting distance from where we currently abide. Why move unless you are going to offer more? More seating, a bigger menu, more opening hours... even a GARDEN?! Not only do we want to invest in equipment so we can offer everyone even more, we want to offer the same environment as the current Waiting Room. We want you to be just as proud of your neighbourhood coffee shop as we are. We want to be able to stay open a little later so we can offer you an evening menu to add the blossoming food scene springing up in Deptford.
For existing customers, becoming a backer will have huge benefits with free coffees, food, Deptford gift packs and even a night out on us with beautifully made cocktails by our staff...
But don't let not being a regular put you off, your generosity will be immortalized on our wall where we will put all backers names! Just know that your generosity is helping keep The Waiting Room where it belongs...
Risks and challenges
we are lucky to have friends and customers who are professionals, willing to help out when it comes to the hard graft.
The great thing for our backers is that we are an existing business so you can benefit from your pledges almost instantly!
Quality, comfort and choice for our customers is paramount but so are the working conditions for our staff.
We really hope we can achieve this goal together...
- (30 days)