Hailed by bloggers as "the most instagrammable café in London" the new luxury chocolate café, taking both London-centric and International Instagrammer communities by storm, has settled in well at its new Connaught Village address.
We catch up with Lois and Michela, founders and sisters, to find out what inspired the concept of their café and the infamous 'Unicorn Latté' that has put Saint Aymes on the map.
1. How did you begin making your individual chocolates?
We felt there was a gap in the market for chocolate that looked as good as it tastes, so we set about creating chocolates that were almost too beautiful to eat. Using ingredients such as nuts and rose to inspire the name and design of our chocolates.
2. Has the process been difficult at any points? What was your biggest hurdle to overcome?
Our biggest hurdle to overcome chocolate-wise is the humidity and temperature. Chocolate is very sensitive to moisture and heat and we happened to start our businesses during one of the hottest summers in a few years.
3. Why is your brand called Saint Aymes?
Aymes is a tribute to our grandparents, Thyra and Eric Aymes originally from Barbados. They worked hard to create a paradise for us in our childhood. Their home was a magical place, with beautiful décor and stunning gardens. Saint ties into our heritage to Barbados, where every parish is preceded by Saint. Saint Aymes put together, is a magical place where beauty and magic can be experienced.
4. What do you think makes you stand out from the cafe culture that is so prevalent in London right now?
In a city with so many corporate cafés, Saint Aymes stands out as unique because we are an authentically family-run business. Michela and I (Lois) have personally designed, hand-curated and conceptualised this shop. Every detail is very personal, from the furniture (which we source and sell) to the flower walls which we handmade ourselves - every detail is a labour of love. We wanted to genuinely create a welcoming space that made all who visited feel welcome, rested and special. We pride ourselves on adding magic to the every day, and it makes us so happy to hear from customers that their visit was the highlight of their day.
5. What are the best and worst things about owning your own business?
The pleasures and downsides of running your own business I would say is a lot like that of parenting. On the one side, its late nights, responsibility and for a long time no glory. On the other side, there is the pride in the payoff and knowing you have created something that will live on beyond yourself.
6. What made you want to open your first flagship in Connaught Village?
We chose Connaught Village because in modern London it is so rare to find a central location with a warm, authentic, home-town feel. With every store thoughtfully curated, and many independently owned, Connaught Village stands out as quaint and quintessentially British. With a charm enriched by its warm neighbours and proud local businesses, we are very pleased to be a part of this wonderful neighbourhood.
7. How do you see your business expanding over the next 5 years?
Saint Aymes itself is a way of life - adding beauty and magic to whatever we touch. We started with chocolate, we then have moved into a store, next we would like to create a hotel and guest house experience where people can truly be engulfed by the ethos of Saint Aymes.
8. What makes you most excited when you wake up during the working week?
Making our customers happy and reading the positive feedback from customers of all ages, all around the world on Instagram.
9. What unique experience does Saint Aymes offer customers?
An escapist paradise.
10. How did you create the dreamy Unicorn Latté?
No creature is more beautiful, magical yet superfluous than the Unicorn, therefore the unicorn is the perfect fictional creature to sum up 'Saint Aymes'. When opening the store Michela and I knew that we had to have a drink that represented this and so we came up with the idea for a Unicorn Latte. We knew we wanted it blue, with whipped cream, a marshmallow horn and of course, 23ct gold.
Follow @ConnaughtVillage on Instagram to see how Saint Aymes is blossoming and more.