THE MILL & PRESS CAFE AND DELI

BLACK RIVER PARKWAY, CAPE TOWN

“LIKE A GOOD NEIGHBOUR WHAAM CONCEPTS IS THERE FOR MILL & PRESS …”

WHAAM AND THE MILL & PRESS ARE JUST TWO OF THE VIBRANT, YOUNG CREATIVE COMPANIES THAT CALL MASON’S PRESS THEIR HOME. WHEN MILL & PRESS DECIDED TO OPEN A SECOND LOCATION WHAAM CONCEPTS WAS THE PERFECT CHOICE TO FOR THIS RESTAURANT SHOPFITTING PROJECT.

 

Like friends wanting to change the world from their garage Whaam, Mill & Press and another one of our Mason’s Press neighbours Jane Says (a graphic design company) banded together to undertake a restaurant shopfitting venture. The mission was to create an escape from the four walls of your office by designing and building a refreshing little hangout in the midst of an urban jungle were The Mill & Press café and deli will serve delicious single origin coffees, home baked pastries, fresh juices, smoothies, salads, and much more.

We wanted to create a space where we could not only could amazing and delicious food be enjoyed, but where the other tenants in the surrounding office blocks could come down and break away from their offices. An unconventional retail environment where people could not only grab a quick coffee on their way up to the office in the morning but a space to have meetings, brainstorms or could sit and work right from the restaurant.

“When undertaking a serious restaurant build you need people on board who understand flow, functional design and materials. You also need a team who are flexible and know how to work under pressure with tight budgets and timelines.” Says Chris Payne, owner, and founder of the Mill and Press.

The SuperTeam had limited time and resources for a restaurant shopfitting project of this scope, but we believed in ourselves and each other and we made it happen. We found an empty shell of the restaurant without any renovations. It didn’t allow for much adaption or change, so we had to use the foundation that was given and design a store around that. Jane Says stepped in and designed an updated logo for Mill & Press as well as fun and whimsical signage and menu boards to go with their fresh-food identity.

Our Whaam design team put in days of work to make sure the digital render represented exactly the vision that Mill & Press wanted to bring to life. The space had to be functional, inviting and fresh.

To achieve this, we worked with wood and greenery. The store is filled with hanging plants and wooden planter boxes to give a fresh feel and bring nature indoors. These green elements pair well with the different hanging pendant lights that light the space and offer an “industrial” feel, reflecting the industrial aspects of the Mill & Press history.

 

 

 

 

The Superteam always considers current trends in restaurant shopfitting and adapts them to fit the theme of the new space and the language of the brand we are designing and manufacturing for.

All surfaces and shelving are wood, and the space also has a wooden bulkhead above the ordering counter. Six wooden seater tables and benches are in the center of the store. Logos are stamped on the table tops as well as the wall, to bring through a strong brand presence, there are also vinyl logos on the bulkhead to welcome the clients as they enter the store. Shelves made of wood with metal frames display the fresh ingredients that Mill & Press will use to prepare your order.

The space itself have these large windows, perfect for gazing out of. To make the best use of them we bolted countertops directly to the walls. We thought this was the perfect work-area and added plug-points along the wall. Work surfaces with no legs that look as if they are floating, gives this section of the space a light and uplifting feel. Perfect for getting inspired and getting work done.

Graphics designed by Jane Says are mounted on the wall in the front of the store. It is reverse printed and mounted to a piece of acrylic that is raised off the wall with standoffs. The reverse graphic print makes the colour pop so much more when it is mounted to the acrylic, making the graphic a lot more vibrant, contributing to the identity of the space, something often overlooked in restaurant shopfitting.

Great care was taken to design a layout of the store that was conducive to the natural flow of a customer’s needs. There are three serving options, a sit-down – where food is brought to seated customers and two grab-and-go options. The serving counter is divided into two parts with a pay point for to-go meals that customers can select from either the fridge or the displays on the counter-top and another for made-to-order drinks like coffees or smoothies.

Chris reflects on the project: “Whaam delivered an outstanding space with the majority of our specifications well met. On any project of this nature, there will be differences of opinions. We certainly had our fair share however we always found a middle ground …and [the team] were able to come to a decent conclusion. Most importantly our space is functional, hard wearing and a great place to spend time”.

Whaam, Mill & Press and Jane Says accomplished a mammoth of a mission together, keeping the Mill & Press history intact, giving it a modern flair and making sure their new space is beautiful as well as functional! Well Done Team!!

 

(This project was also recently featured on the Retail Design Blog)

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