Last week, I entered the newly opened boulangerie on Flask Walk. The pastries on the side smelt buttery and the salads looked fresh and perfect for Instagram. I was later told all of the salads are vegan, as they changed their dressing by removing honey.
Key Selling Points:
Vegan salads - Organic Sandwiches -
Food all made overnight -
Independent Coffee Roaster -
Hands on owner.
I was welcomed by the owner, Dahmane, a friendly man who was clearly passionate about the food he creates. I had been in touch with them via social media before Christmas, as I was curious about the new cafe in my favourite hub of Hampstead. Dahmane is from Algeria and grew up in Paris, and you can really see the influences in the food (hello, Parisian boulangerie?)
In this series of blogs, I would love the Hampstead Mums to know more about the local business owners. We need to feel properly connected with the owners if we are to not give in to the convenience (and often, price savings) of shopping online. Dahmane started the concept 20 years ago in Crouch End and Muswell Hill with his family - Sable D'Or. They have also recently opened a branch on Englands Lane (Belsize Park), and I stumbled upon them too which I wrote about in the Hampstead Mums group. Dahmane's wife is a GP, so they both work really long unsociable hours. At the weekends, Dahmane likes to go to food markets and eat at local cafes/restaurants. He is really passionate about engaging with the local area, and is happy to donate food to schools/local causes etc. So do get in touch.
They have a few branches in the North London area, so the food is all made locally in their kitchen (off site). ALL of their food is made overnight, fresh for the morning. The salads are made early in the morning - they are blanched, roasted then brought on site for dressing. They also do catering for parties, and I think these big portions of salad would be a big hit (with a side of protein). The small sandwiches are all organic. The coffee is made by a super independent supplier - they are mad about coffee and make a special blend for BBM. They also train the baristas to make coffee properly, so you should have a great cup of coffee at BBM (being a tea drinker, I can't testify for coffee quality). They are currently working on more vegan products and will release them once fine tuned - Dahmane is an artisan and refuses to sell any until they are perfect.
The recipe for the oat bran pancake on the menu is made by Dahmane's wife. As a doctor, she is well aware of the need for nutritious food, so they experimented for a long time with the chefs to provide something nutritious and filling on the menu.
Dahmane has a strong background in food. He worked with his partner on the first fast food pasta place (like Vapiano), back in 1990. When he came to London, he started his first cafe with family members, and in 2013 he studied to be a chef and passed with distinction in 2016.
We talked briefly about the costs involved for running a business. As my parents owned a small restaurant and I grew up around the business, this is an area I'm quite intimate with and I guess is where my passion for supporting local businesses come from. All I can say is - if you like a business, keep going to it. There's no point saying "oh, that's a shame it shut" after not visiting it for 6 months.
9 Flask Walk, Hampstead, NW3 1HJ