In late November 2014 I got an email from someone interested in taking over the Kitchen at Matthews Yard for a couple of evenings a week. It wasn’t something we had considered before. On the 26th November I met Adam Jackowski, Tom Yip and Daniel Esteban for the first time.
Three twenty-somethings, with no experience, little money and full time jobs. So many questions. Were they ready? Were they serious? Could we afford to spend hundreds of hours devising a way to make it work? Was it just a distraction? Could they hack it? Would our landlord allow it?
Despite their shortcomings, the trio were passionate, hungry and driven. Qualities which closely matched my own when I started Matthews Yard. We all did lots of work behind the scenes, reached an agreement and signed a deal in February 2015. Adam, Tom and Daniel each invested most of their savings in Matthews Yard. In return, Brgr&Beer got a place they could call home for a fraction of the costs associated with starting from scratch. It was the ideal solution to both our needs and perfect timing for all of us.
After various delays, Brgr&Beer opened to the public on the 17th April 2015. While it seems like longer, in only two years Brgr&Beer has grown from an unknown and inexperienced start-up to an award-winning and much-loved part of Croydon’s community.
In their first year B&B won a Croydon Business Award and turned a profit. In their 2nd year, they expanded to BoxPark Croydon with their new Wine & Deli brand and in December 2016 they were voted best restaurant in Croydon by Time Out’s readers.
Two years in, it’s been a genuine pleasure working with Adam, Tom, Daniel and their team. Witnessing the ins and outs of their meteoric rise to success has been inspirational and satisfying in equal measure.
It is their hard work and determination to succeed which has validated the new MY business model. Their success demonstrates the real potential for Matthews Yard to play a part in supporting the success of the next generation of entrepreneurs while delivering social and economic value in the communities in which we work. I look forward to continuing to work with Brgr&Beer in the weeks, months and years ahead.
Happy Birthday Brgr&Beer and a huge well done from the extended MY family.