Grind breaks new ground
The east London coffee company is setting up stateside at Soho Desert House
Wednesday 13 April 2022 By Jess Aureli
Originally launched as a cafe in London’s Shoreditch 11 years ago, coffee company Grind now makes more than two million cups of coffee a year across its outposts in the capital, and has its own state-of-the-art roastery.
When the world shut down in 2020, Grind took things online, offering subscriptions, accessories and compostable coffee pods that are designed to offset the prevalence of single-use products (according to the brand, 29,000 plastic and aluminum pods go to landfill every minute). It was also in 2020 that Grind became the exclusive in-house coffee for Soho House globally – a partnership that involves training our baristas all around the world.
This month, the collaboration is expanding further in the US. Soho Desert House kicks off on Friday 15 April, taking over a 40-acre property for three weekends of events around Coachella, and Grind will be on hand to keep flagging festivalgoers adequately caffeinated (no doubt garnering some new American fans along the way).
Ahead of Soho Desert House, we spoke to Grind cofounder David Abrahamovitch about the partnership, breaking into the US, and how to make the perfect Espresso Martini.
How did your partnership with Soho House come about?
‘It was really organic: I’ve been a Shoreditch House member since it opened – before I even started Grind – and [Grind cofounder] Kaz James is the resident DJ at Scorpios Mykonos, so we’ve known lots of the team at Soho House for years. We talked about working together on and off, but finally made it happen in 2020, just before the world shut down.
‘It’s a huge partnership for us. We supply the coffee used inside all of the Houses, hotels and restaurants around the world, which is roasted by us in London for Europe, and in Brooklyn and LA for the Soho House locations in the US and beyond. It’s a lot of coffee.’
Why are partnerships like this important?
‘It’s been great for the business, and it’s helped introduce thousands of Soho House members to our brand. For me, Soho House has always set the bar for hospitality, and to have our coffee used in all of the Houses is great validation of what we have built and how far we’ve come in the past 10 years, as well as something that’s been a personal goal of mine since the beginning. If Soho House stocks you, then I think it says to the world that you must be among the best in your field.’
What will the Soho Desert House pop-up involve?
‘As well as having our own group of restaurants and cafes, we also have a fleet of vintage Citroën coffee trucks around London. And as part of the partnership, we’ve taken one of these to Soho Farmhouse each summer for the past few years. [So,] to celebrate the launch of our US website, we’ve sent one of our trucks and some of our team on the trip of a lifetime to Soho Desert House to start meeting some of our future customers in real life for the first time.’
Why are events like this important?
‘Our online business has grown like crazy since the start of the pandemic, but it’s still essential to reach customers in real life. In London, we’re able to do that through our own stores, but we don't have any in the US yet, so this is a great way to introduce people to Grind.’
How do you make the perfect Grind Espresso Martini?
‘You need one key ingredient: great coffee. You can get this from your home coffee machine, or one of our pods. After that you just need vodka, a bit of sugar, and something to shake it in. You can check out our step-by-step guide with a video on how to make Espresso Martinis at home here.’
Soho House members can use the code SOHOHOUSE to get 50% off their first delivery of Grind compostable Nespresso pods, shipped anywhere in the UK, Europe or the US.
Buy your Soho Desert House pass here