Serving delicious crêpes all day, Chelsea Creperie in London is a place full of potential.
Stay at home mum was, on paper, what Russian born Darya Simanovich became when her first child was born. But far from shine away from challenges, she not only took on motherhood but also put into practice some interesting business ideas. A degree in Maths, vast experience in the financial district of London and a Master in Risk Management certainly helped, but Darya's eye for detail and sense of opportunity have certainly been contributing to making Chelsea Creperie a success.
A very entrepreneurial mind, Darya took on the challenge to open Chelsea Creperie, her first food business, right opposite Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, an interesting location that appeals for both professionals and families.
In this exclusive interview, she speaks to us about the idea behind the Creperie and why this is a business full of potential.
Walk the Talk Magazine: How did you start Chelsea Creperie? Is it your first business?
Darya Simanovich: Chelsea Creperie is my first food business. I run a successful swimming school and it has been going for over four years now and this experience has given me courage to consider Chelsea Creperie seriously. Five years ago I noticed the location in the corner of Hollywood Road and Fulham Road, right opposite Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. I then, found out the the, then, owner was ready to sell the lease. I jumped into the opportunity as I spotted a business potential there. There are not many creperies at all in the UK, compared to France, and it is a type of meal that is appealing for breakfast, lunch and dinner. On top of that, as I know the area very well, I was aware that there aren't gelato, waffles and crepe places within walking distance from that spot. It was then, time to take the risk.
WTTM: What is unique about Chelsea Creperie?
DS: We offer sweet and savoury crepes and make them to order in front of customers to either eat in or take away. Our coffee is artisan from caravan beans which appeals to true coffee lovers. At the moment, we are the only place in London that serves the beautiful rainbow latte, which is a total hit on Instagram. Our Nutella corner is a cute and very popular picture spot amongst bloggers. We serve delicious savoury and sweet crêpes, waffles and gelato which is very popular even in winter.
Rainbow latte Nutella corner The delicious savoury chévre crêpe
WTTM: Who decides the flavours and how do they come about?
DS: I have worked with a few very talented crepiers and chefs in the past and we have created the amazing Apple, which is a sweet crêpe with caramelised apple and a choice of gelato. We believe it is crêpe taken to another level! We keep our savoury crêpes more traditionally French with flavours like Raclette and Tartiflete. But the input of customers is greatly appreciated. We are running a competition on social media that people get to decide the flavours of the special crêpe of the week.
WTTM: Who does the Chelsea Creperie appeal to?
DS: We want our creperie to be a place where people go for breakfast, lunch and dinner and not only on special occasions. We have regulars, people that come every day and we are also very family friendly.
The key to the success of Chelsea Creperie is our super friendly and customer focused team. They are ready to go the extra mile to make sure our clients are happy. The advantage of independent cafés and restaurants over chains is that we take great care in selecting the right people to work for us. As I am often there I like to think the team feel valued and loved. I believe that if you love the team around you this will reflect on the customers.
Louis and Charlenne are part of the team at Chelsea Creperie.
WTTM: There is always concern about food and health. How can a creperie with delicious toppings and flavours be part of a balanced and healthy life for adults and kids?
DS: Our buckwheat crêpes are gluten free, dairy free and we also have vegan options. We use organic buckwheat from France and the UK and have a variety of salads to choose from. Our food is made from scratch and we do not use preservatives found in ready meals, for example.
I think getting kids involved in making food is an important part of healthy eating. They can prepare their own food and make sure they know what ingredients are used. Besides, making crêpe is a very creative activity as they can experiment and add flavours and textures. We run frequent crêpes, waffles and smoothies workshops for kids and adults which are very popular. We also open for birthday parties which is a lot of fun.
WTTM: How does the future look for Chelsea Creperie?
DS: We believe that creperie is an underdeveloped food concept in the UK. Chelsea Creperie is growing steadily due to the quality of the food and location. We are now looking for an investor to open more creperies around the UK.
Chelsea Creperie runs fun and informative classes for kids and adults. Keep an eye on their social media to find out more. If you want to take part in one of the workshops, use promo code NaraChelseaCreperie for a 15% discount!
And as if this wasn't great enough, the first five new subscribers to our magazine will get a 2 for 1 crêpe deal at Chelsea Creperie. Impress a friend , a family member and when you order one crêpe, the second one is free. This is for the first five subscribers to Walk the Talk Magazine who will be contacted with a code.