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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

5 Questions - LLS Cafe (London's Latest Scandal) The Sugar Free Cafe

A couple of weeks ago whilst skimming through my Twitter feeds, my attention was caught by this cheeky monkey holding a fork. I love branding and the playful nature of the monkey pulled me further in to uncover a story of two French sisters who are quite literally 'doing it for themselves'.

LLS - London’s Latest Scandal – The Sugar Free Café that makes life easy for those seeking a sugar free life! This ambitious crowdfunding idea is the brainchild of sisters Sonia and Hayet are hoping that they can turn a health issue close at home in to a project that can add health benefits to hundreds more.

At London’s Latest Scandal - the new sugar free Café and Deli, the girls will promote Sugar-Free living with a great menu and tasty range of food and drinks that will be available from their central London location.

Most of us are well aware of the dangers that sugar can cause to the body. Some would argue that sugar is the single worst ingredient in our modern diet and that added sugar can have harmful effects on metabolism and contribute to all sorts of diseases. On top of that, trying to give up sugar can be the hardest thing to do in the world, especially when you don’t know where it is hidden, or how to replace it with great tasting alternatives.

Born and raised in France and now living in London. The sisters are passionate about healthy eating and overcoming the challenges of diabetes in their family. Best friends and each other’s greatest support system, Sonia and Hayet work well together complementing each other strengths. They inspire each other to do their very best and are always there to pick each other up. This business venture and recent family setback have brought them even closer and made them even more determined to make this venture a total success.

Originally from France, Sonia has graduated from ESC, a French international business school before embarking on a 7-year trip around the world where she worked for many different restaurants and cafes. This extensive travelling and food background, has given Sonia the experience to run what should be an amazing café. Her understanding of the highest quality, freshly made food combined with the ability to source good local produce makes Sonia the perfect choice to run and operate her own world-renowned Café.

Whilst Sonia might be the sister who has all the practical attributes to make LLS a success, her sister Hayet brings a wealth of marketing and PP skills to the table. After graduating (with both Bachelor and Master degrees) Hayet quickly became a creative producer working for large brands such as Virgin, Qantas and Emirates as well as magazines such as Grazia and Madison among others. Her passionate eye and vision lead her to work with "la crème de la crème" of creatives, photographers and directors.

Recently relocated to London, and following her mother being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, Hayet is now focussed on healthy eating and diet. The urgency to keep her mother healthy has opened up a new world, turning a passionate producer into a passionate baker. Hayet's strengths are recipe testing and product sourcing as well as keeping things funny with her hilarious sense of humour (or so she thinks!) Paired with Sonia's amazing planning and management skills, and restaurant experience, Hayet’s inimitable marketing and promotional skills along with her newly found passion for healthy eating and sugar free recipes makes for a winning team.

Working together to bring this new chapter of their lives and careers to fruition both Sonia and Hayet have invested their savings, time and passion into making London’s Latest Scandal a success.

Here's the LLS Cafe story;

How did you get started?

About a year ago, our mum was Diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes which forced her and us to look into our food and the sugar in it a little more closely. We became obsessed sugar investigators and eventually realised that we had to get to the kitchen, test and try until we could make what we like, but only sweetened with naturally occurring sweeteners. We then discovered Erythritol, a natural sweeteners that has no calories and is diabetic friendly. It looks and taste like sugar, is 70% as sweet and yet our mother could eat anything we made with it. We turned our kitchen into a mini masterchef experiment. We became confident when friends of friends began calling us to ask if we could make them "a citron meringue tart" or "red velvet cupcakes" which was very flattering, and made us think: What if we could take it to that level where we can serve everything we love to Londoners. Sonia’s dream was always to own a cafe, so we didn’t think about it too long.

What’s the best piece of business advice you could give?

LLS is at concept stage. And while a lot of work has been put on it, we are crowdfunding it to make it a reality within London but the crowdfunding process is very time and energy consuming. For us who love to get out there, cook and bake, it put us into a challenge that is teaching us a lot about how to make noise, get people involved and turning interest into investment through our campaign on Indiegogo. So a piece of business advise is: Whatever you decide to do for your business, make sure that passion is what drives you. As cliche as this may sound, we are both so passionately driven by this concept, nothing could stop us, so one needs to make sure that their project is good enough to fight long and hard for it. To us, turning LLS into a "hub" for healthy and wannabe healthy individuals like us, and show Londoners that there’s choice out there is now a life goal.

Where would you like to see your business in 5 years time?

That’s a great questions! In 5 years time, we are seeing LLS as one of the UK respected entity that is supporting a healthier life thanks to our low-sugar policy. One of the thing that we will develop off the back of LLS cafe, is becoming a voice for Brits through story write-ups about people (anyone) which will be displayed across social media platforms. Beyond being a cafe with a strong Ethos and purpose, we want it to become a place where people feel that they exist and matter as individuals. The next year is going to be key in term of how we’ll develop. We have set such high standards for our cafe, we hope that London (and the rest of the UK) will follow us into our own little revolution towards counter balancing the impact of sugar in our lives.

If you could only have one of your own products/recipes, what would it be & why?

One of the thing which was extremely hard to stop having is Pavlova. It is just such a nice, refreshing and delicious dessert. Being able to make it sugar-free is amazing because it means that we can keep enjoying it and get others to try it in our cafe. So pavlova it is!

You can invite one person (living or dead) to your last meal – Who would it be and why? …and what’s on the menu?

We would love having Stephen Fry over for a nice meal. Such an interesting character. I think that we’d have a great laugh and will be able to discuss so many topics, it would be endless with Stephen.

We would make a dish from home, France - A cassoulet with Saucisse de Toulouse, and will serve it with a favourite french dessert, a Chocolat Fondant cake (sugar free of course!) We’ll have it all over a beautiful Chateau-Grillet (very small production) french wine, which has a little honey and apricot in it, delicious!

I said at the beginning of this post that 'sisters were doing it for themselves', but it's clear to see that these two determined young girls have a hugely ambitious plan to help improve the health of anyone who fancies popping by for a coffee and a slice of cake without the guilt.
To bring London’s Latest Scandal to life Sonia & Hayet need to raise nearly £165,000 to cover the costs related to the initial opening period.

Their own personal investment is £25,200. It is a great amount to start with, which leaves leaves them with a further £139,384 to get properly started. While it is not a small amount of money, LLS is an ambitious, high standard driven Sugar Free cafe which will start with a highly qualified team of cooks and pastry chefs so to deliver all our promises and more!

In this age of growing obesity and food related health problems as well as the hugely competitive world of coffee shops, I wish the girls every success and hope that the girls can have have their cake and eat it too!

If you like the sound of London's Latest Scandal Cafe then check out their Indiegogo page for more details as well as finding out how you can donate and become part of the LLS story. You can also keep up to date with the girls and their progress on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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