White MulberriesSpring 2016
Husband and wife Rana and Peyman Darban swapped the corporate grind for the coffee grind, bringing artisan drinks, good food and a laid back vibe to St. Katharine Docks.
The phrase ‘dynamic duo’ is normally reserved for fictional characters – Cagney and Lacey or Batman and Robin, for example. There is, however, a great partnership working right at the heart of St. Katharine Docks. Rana and Peyman Darban are the owners of White Mulberries – an artisan coffee shop at Ivory House, where making a humble brew has been elevated to an art form. Their attention to detail and quality hasn’t been overlooked. Displayed behind the busy baristas with an air of modesty belying its importance is the couple’s London’s Best Coffee Shop award – one of the coffee industry’s most coveted accolades.
“We both shared a passion for good coffee and decided to turn our passion into a business.”
“We left corporate life behind to start White Mulberries,” comments Rana, tucked away at the back of her award-winning café, with its infectious acid-jazz soundtrack playing in the background. “We both shared a passion for good coffee and decided to turn our passion into a business. It helps that we share the same vision and can work harmoniously together!”
How did White Mulberries find its niche in a capital awash with coffee shops? Well, the location certainly helps.
“We searched for 12 months to find the ideal premises and since we opened in 2012 not a day has gone by when we haven’t felt lucky,” adds Rana. Indeed, sipping an exceptional espresso made by one of White Mulberries’ friendly baristas accompanied by the unique view across the marina is truly special.
Although driven by Rana and Peyman, the vision for coffee perfection is delivered by hand-picked staff who have either studied coffee or have an obsession with serving flawless flat whites. “Finding the right staff is one of our biggest challenges,” says Rana. “We like to employ well travelled characters who are ready to build a rapport with the people in St. Katharine Docks – that’s really important if you want to gain a loyal clientele. We have our local regulars but we know many repeat customers travel out of their way for their favourite coffee, which is flattering.”
But don’t let the level of perfection at White Mulberries be confused with coffee snobbery. There’s humbleness about Rana and Peyman – they offer artisan coffee without pretence. “We never want our customers to feel intimidated if they’re not up on their grand crus or cold brews,” says Rena. “We have done the hard work in selecting the best beans from the best suppliers (from Allpress in New Zealand, for the curious). Customers can simply order a coffee knowing it will taste brilliant.” Refreshingly, beverages at White Mulberries only come in two sizes – small or large.
Join the Rana, Peyman and the White Mulberries team anytime to enjoy an award-winning coffee, or pay a special visit during UK Coffee Week 2016, which runs from 11th – 17th April.
D3 Ivory House, St. Katharine Docks, E1W 1AT