Pop in to Livewire Kitchen on a week day and it’s clear that this place more than lives up to its name. “The atmosphere is amazing when the tables are full,” says co-founder Nina. “The buzz is electric. Watching small businesses do deals and have meetings, you can feel the creativity in the air.”
A brand-new hub for New and Growing Companies and startups, Vox Studios has proved the perfect home for a café that aims to deliver something fresh and innovative. Livewire is targeted at “the working professional”, and its menu is made up of nutritious breakfasts, lunches, snacks and drinks all devised – or sourced – specifically for their brain - mood - and energy-boosting properties.
Our food is designed to beat stress and aid mental clarity, focus, concentration and positivity.
Zoe at Livewire
Soups, sandwiches and salads change daily and are jam-packed with superfoods; the staple Oh My Omega sandwich showcases oily fish, for example, whether that means beetroot salmon and avocado on sourdough, or Bloody Mary sardines with sunflower seeds and salsa verde on rye.
Certain ingredients have made it onto a list of Livewire Heroes (take a look at www.livewirekitchen.co.uk) and are rarely off the menu, whipped up by chef Davide into innovative, seasonally inspired “hot super bowls” such as Saffron Lime Persian Chicken with Roasted Cauliflower and Basmati Rice.
Co-founder, Zoe is a passionate advocate for eating “foods with benefits”. As she explains: “Our food is designed to beat stress and aid mental clarity, focus, concentration and positivity. It’s personal for me. A few years ago I was working in marketing at a senior level, and burning the candle at both ends. I found out from a nutritionist that my vitamin and mineral levels were dangerously low. But I made some simple changes to my diet and just three weeks later I was sleeping properly for the first time in years, full of energy and had a more positive outlook on things.”
Zoe’s lightbulb moment was the catalyst for her and Nina – who has a background in events and catering – to start planning their café concept. Over the course of 2015 they researched, networked, sourced “ethical, local” suppliers and prepared a business plan, and Livewire opened its doors in January this year. Feedback from customers is actively encouraged, and has been hugely positive so far.
“It’s really important that we listen to our customers and evolve our offering to suit them, while staying true to our brand,” says Zoe. “We're not going to deny our customers a treat, such as a brownie, to go with their coffee. We just make sure our menu is full of delicious homemade options, and that everything we do is packed with goodness and taste.”
It ticks all the nutritional boxes plus it’s satisfying and surprising.
Zoe from Liverwire
Their hungry male audience has demanded bacon sandwiches be put on the menu, but the Livewire House Bacon Buttie features griddled rather than fried rashers on sourdough bread and comes with a side order of metabolism-boosting chilli and tomato relish.
Zoe and Nina are particularly excited about Livewire’s winter menu, due to launch on 1 November. “It ticks all the nutritional boxes,” enthuses Zoe, “plus it’s satisfying and surprising.” Next month also sees the launch of the 'Amuse Your Bouche' series of food and drink-focused events; to get onto the programme the “events have to spark the mind and encourage discovery” as well as offering great food. The Livewire Academy, kicking off in January, will offer masterclasses, coaching and wellbeing advice.
With all that on the go, plus catering for meetings and a plan to launch an outside catering service, Zoe and Nina should by rights resemble zombies, not the bright-eyed and shiny haired powerhouses of energy who greet us at the photoshoot. But then you are what you eat, right? It’s enough to put you off your custard doughnut…
Find out more about Livewire Kitchen and their tempting menu here.
Do you like the idea of working at Vox Studios? Vauxhall’s newest business hub is just moments from Vauxhall station and the minimal, modern aesthetic of the building has encouraged an eclectic mix of New and Growing Companies into our space so far, from PR agencies and tech start-ups to artisan food brands and innovative NGOs. If you’d like to arrange a viewing of our available spaces, click here.