Somerset family farm enterprise, Yeo Valley, Britain’s leading organic dairy brand, is expanding on the success of both its dairy product range and its Blagdon-based farm, café and garden in deepest Somerset by opening its very first London outlet, comprised of a two-storey café, shop and workspace on Queensway in west London, designed by award-winning South West creative agency Phoenix Wharf.
The brief was to create an engaging, inviting showcase for Yeo Valley, incorporating a dine-in café, grab’n’go produce and a mini retail store, as well as a work and meeting space on the site’s upper storey. The designers were asked to maintain and express the brand’s nature-inspired ethos and friendly, fun and unpretentious feel, whilst also creating links to the existing HQ. This included integrating the work of artist-illustrator Natasha Clutterbuck, who has a long association with the brand.
The new café-store has two street-facing, retail-style, full-height boutique windows to either side of the main double-door entrance, with backlit storefront branding above for The Yeo Valley Café, using the brand’s existing heart-shaped identity. The interior features a dual ‘warm and cool’ concept, with a white and bright ‘cool’ area to the right for grab’n’go produce and the mini retail area, underlining the freshness of the dairy produce range, and a warmer ‘natural’ sit-down area to the left, underlining the brand’s countryside origins and authenticity.
A central off-white flooring corridor is for circulation and unites the spaces, with a feature flooring apron to both sides in a black-and-white, star-patterned Spanish Hex tile with a matt finish. White, horizontal timber-style slats line the upper walls and the angled ceiling, whilst an eye-catching, huge-scale ceiling feature down the centre of the space takes the form of a stained-glass-style light-box installation, showing an abstracted map of the Yeo Valley farm HQ in Blagdon.
The left-hand side of the ground floor space features a natural colourway with a slightly 70s retro feel, including a deep olive green used for the left-side booth banquette seating. Loose seating is in the form of retro moulded chairs for a home-from-home feel, whilst bespoke tables are topped in Brazilian cosmic black granite, with a single, central tulip-style metal base. Brand stories also feature in this area, including a picture wall along the first third of the space. The central section of the wall, alongside the booth seating, features exposed brickwork, used again to the left side of the rear wall as both a rustic reference and an allusion to the Blagdon HQ.
A lighting feature made up of a clutch of 19 pendant lamps in different designs and set at different lengths hangs over the booth seating and catches guests’ eyes as they enter. The final third of the left-side wall houses a cottage-garden-inspired mural by artist Natasha Clutterbuck. The rear wall features a large-scale retro-style TV against the exposed brickwork, telling the ‘Yeo TV’ brand story visually (without sound) and offering a distraction for anyone queueing to pay at the back-right pay counter.
The right-hand, ‘cool’ side of the space features a product chiller wall and then an angled counter, both featuring blue-tinged LED underlighting. The counter has a solid stone, delicatessen-style top and plenty of back-wall interest in the form of mustard-coloured tiling in an angled herringbone pattern. As customers arrive at the pay-counter, a large, glossy, petrol-blue dresser, bespoke-designed by Phoenix Wharf, catches the eye against the backwall.
To the rear left are customer toilets, a fun and stand-out feature, designed as ‘Blagdon Station’ underground toilets as a link between the London and Somerset sites, with curved tube-tunnel corners and ‘pomegranate’ wall tiles, sourced from H.E. Smith, the original London Underground manufacturer.