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Spotlight On: imm Thai Fusion

Bringing authentic Thai food to the Wimbledon community for six consecutive years, we sat down with the owner of local independent restaurant imm Thai Fusion, Siri, to find out more about the team behind the dishes and the adventurous menu that they have planned for the summer, as the restaurant’s anniversary fast approaches.

imm Thai Fusion started in August 2015 with an intention to bring authentic Thai food (and neighbouring dishes) to the community, with a value for money. They offer a comforting space where customers can enjoy fragrant foods and thirst-quenching drinks, whilst the team offers a nurturing platform which showcases the skills and passion of team members, for the betterment of our society.

You’re approaching your 6th anniversary. How did you choose Wimbledon to open your first restaurant?

Wimbledon is a charming and versatile English town. It enjoys a global reputation and yet when you are in the place you can feel a strong sense of local community and friendly buzz. The area has superb business prospects and offers the chance to meet lovely people, from all walks of life.

 

Where does the name ‘imm Thai Fusion’ come from?

‘imm’ means full in Thai and is a common adjective used to describe fulfilment in the body and the heart. The meaning of imm aligns with our intention for customers to leave our restaurant ‘full’ in their experience and not just in their stomachs. The word “Fusion” at the end allows us to extend our creativity into combining a Thai cooking style with dishes from neighbouring countries like Vietnam, Laos, or even Japan in Thai style. Our food is designed to meet and exceed the expectations for authentic Thai.

What is the dining experience that you aim to give guests at imm Thai Fusion?

Good food that provides energy and comfort, served with genuine hospitality. Simple happiness in daily life.

Tell us about your specialty dish/dishes.

Our fish dishes tend to be popular – especially the steamed seabass/cod loin in ginger and soya sauce. Those who like intense flavour can opt for the same fish, but pan fried and served with tamarind sauce. Our simple stir fried vegetable dishes are also becoming increasingly popular.

What’s new on the menu this summer?

Well, we’ve tried to be adventurous this year. Our chefs will be serving famous dishes from different parts of Thailand, that are a little more on the daring side, e.g. a whole golden pomfret fish – with the head and tail! This is way that the fish is traditionally served in Thailand, which may come to as a surprise to British people, but to me it brings back nostalgic thoughts of a warm breeze, clear beaches, and the sound of the sea.

#LoveLocal and visit imm Thai Fusion at 162 The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19 1RX.

 

Rediscover more brilliant independent restaurants like this in Wimbledon via our Town Centre Map and get to know the friendly faces behind the food, first-hand.

Spotlight On: The Angelic Juice Company

Wimbledon Town Centre has a new vegan and gluten-free hotspot in town! We sat down with Eliza, the founder and creator of The Angelic Juice Company, and her mum and Director, Diane, to talk about the inspiration behind the brand, superfoods we should be excited about and why they chose Wimbledon to open the first location for this family-run business.

 

Tell us about the inspiration behind The Angelic Juice Company.

I was studying skincare and therapeutic nutrition in California at the time and my best friend, Susan Boyle, was diagnosed with breast cancer. After having the lump removed she asked me to aid her in fighting the effects of the disease naturally. We embarked on giving her immune system the best chance to be at its strongest. So we began juicing daily by adding tumour blockers like turmeric and superfoods like kale into her diet and our aim was to alkalise the body*. We went on quite the juicing journey and we learned so much – it was so amazing and inspiring. Thankfully she is still cancer-free to this day!

Obviously, I can’t claim to cure cancer but it’s vitally important to make sure the body is at its optimum to be able to fight off disease at all times. The body is an amazing miracle if you feed it the right nutrients which is why we use organic produce to limit harmful pesticides.

We were inspired by trying to make a safe space for people with all sorts of food needs to go! We knew being a vegan, with gluten intolerance and multiple allergies, would make it almost impossible to eat and drink out. Health has always been at the top our list with our cold-pressed juices and detox shots, but we wanted to bring something that everyone could enjoy.

How did you choose Hartfield Walk to open a kiosk?

We originally were going to join Coffee Hart, iThai and King Falafel with a moveable trailer and a generator, when we found out that Love Wimbledon were creating these adorable kiosks. We didn’t have to use fossil fuel to power our venture and we were excited to be part of such a project. We felt Angelic Juice would be a perfect fit for the reimagined space that Love Wimbledon were trying to create. We reached out and were luckily able to be part of the stunning new ‘eat and meet’ space that creates such a fantastic location for Wimbledon and its friendly community.

What will we find on the menu?

We serve organic cold-pressed juices, vegan smoothies and detox shots as well as jacket potatoes, vegan burgers and toasties as well as sweet potatoes and regular fries (organic of course). We have a selection of gluten-free pasta dishes and have just started serving vegan allergen-free ice cream with some yummy sauces and toppings just in time for summer and the demands of our customers.

How do you source your ingredients?

We are committed to sustainable eco-packaging and use vegware as our main PLA compostable supplier. We source our organic fruits and vegetable locally where possible and make sure that the products we use don’t use any of the fourteen known allergens. Although we can’t make any promises, we sure do try our best to make sure everything is safe and pesticide-free for all.

Do you have a favourite superfood and why?

Hmmmmm that’s a hard one – my new favourite is açai. We have recently sourced a great pure form and excited to be serving açai sorbet and smoothie bowls in the coming weeks!

Look out for our Buddha bowls this summer and when winter rolls around, come and try our homemade soups.

 

Pop by The Angelic Juice Company in Hartfield Walk, near Morrisons, open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-4pm.

 

*Note that this information is not intended to give medical advice, claim to heal or replace medications. Always consult your doctor.

Spotlight on: Tequila Mockingbird

Having originally opened in December, new independent cocktail bar Tequila Mockingbird re-opened on 12th April.

Launching in their biggest venue yet, the collection of trendy cocktail bars have taken over the former SMASH site, swapping the ping pong tables for bookable booths and a large roof terrace, perfect for summer evenings, PLUS they have a handmade stonebaked pizza menu for when you need a bite to eat!

We caught up with Jonathan Bas, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Tequila Mockingbird to find out more.

Tell us about Tequila Mockingbird.
Tequila Mockingbird offers an affordable and accessible cocktail menu with an emphasis on fun nights out, accompanied by tasty and interesting drinks. Now, and for the first time, we are offering our own in-house food, with a selection of handmade pizzas available exclusively at the Wimbledon bar.

How did you choose Wimbledon to open a location?
The brand is now in seven locations,  after having being launched in 2015 with our first bar in Putney High Street. Our venues have always been favourite neighbourhood bars and since re-opening after the first closure due to Covid-19, we were overwhelmed with return customer bookings, proving our customer loyalty along with an influx of first-time customers. The opportunity arose to take over the former SMASH site and we jumped at the chance, having been interested in opening a site in Wimbledon for some time.

Wimbledon has a well-established hospitality scene with a great mix of eating and drinking establishments, but unfortunately no real cocktail bars anymore so we hope to bring something new to the town, perfect for date nights and catch-ups with friends throughout the week, or a late-night party at the weekend!

Describe the vibe of your cocktail bars. What can we expect?
We have fully renovated the entire venue and have refurbished and reimagined the old Po Na Na roof terrace, just in time for summer and the re-opening of outdoor hospitality on the 12th April.

What is your signature cocktail?
Our signature cocktail is the “Mockingbird Punch” which is actually a secret recipe, but is a Tequila-based punch, served in a Tiki Mug with flaming fruits on top!

Tequila Mockingbird is located at 82 The Broadway (opposite New Wimbledon Theatre) and is open from 5pm – 12am, Monday – Wednesday, and 5pm – 2am,  Thursday – Saturday. #LoveLocal and book your table now to avoid missing out on killer cocktails in an alfresco setting.

Spotlight on: Creature Company

Wimbledon is home to a number of small and independent businesses which help to add a sense of character and diversity to our town centre. Lockdown has made us all pay closer attention to our local surroundings, whether it be parks and local hidden gems, or getting to know local business owners and discovering the brilliant products/services that they offer!

We are shining a spotlight on these businesses and giving you an insight into who our local business owners are, what their stories are, what makes them special and why shopping local in Wimbledon Town Centre is vital to community spirit.

And this time it’s Creature Company! The dog groomers and pet shop is run by an eclectic all-female team of local dog lovers, including General Manager Anna de Brito. We caught up with Anna to find out more…

Who are Creature Company and what do you offer?
We are an independent pet shop and dog grooming salon right in the middle of Wimbledon Broadway. Half of the business is our complete dog grooming service, from the full groom and spa treatment, to if a pup just pops in for a quick nail clip. The other side is the store, where we also sell a huge variety of products for dogs including favourite wet, dry and raw foods, popular toy brands, clothing, training and grooming. We also have a large range of products for cats, small animals, fish and both wild and domesticated birds.

How long has Creature Company been based in Wimbledon?
We opened our doors in Wimbledon in 2001 and have been here ever since. We’ve developed a great loyal customer base who regularly bring their dogs in for some grooming, pampering and TLC.

Tell us why it’s important to regularly groom your dog?
It’s important to groom your dog regularly to prevent matting, which leads to tightened skin and discomfort, and to help with de-shedding to get rid of dead hair. Much like with humans at the hairdresser, regular trims and grooming will maintain a healthy coat! When regularly grooming you will also be able to spot any blemishes, hot spots or sore patches, well before your dog is in too much pain. You should also be brushing your dog daily in between grooms, to avoid knots and matting, – this also to help them get used to the grooming experience in a comfortable environment with people they know.

Can you recommend one product from your store, that is a must-have for a dog owner?
The KONG classic is just that – a nifty rubber chew toy with a hollow centre, which you can fill with treats or KONG peanut butter to keep your pet occupied and stimulated.

Name a product that the dogs just can’t get enough of…
Lily’s Kitchen Duck & Venison Sausages – these are a favourite with all our clients, from tiny terriers to Bernese mountain dogs!

We know that you have hundreds of friendly, furry creatures coming through your doors… what’s been your funniest experience with a pooch?
Once I was looking after a dog, who was waiting to be picked up and he slipped on his harness, but every time I tried to get it back on comfortably he inched away so his legs were splayed out as he ran.

How has Creature Company been affected by Covid-19?

As I’m sure is the case for many other local businesses, the pandemic has presented huge difficulty, both for the business and our team. From staff members being furloughed and a huge decrease in customers coming through our doors, to the changing levels of restrictions, this has been a tough year. We have, however, been fortunate enough to be able to continue our grooming services through lockdown and want to thank all of our regular customers who have continued to support us. We would love to remind the people of Wimbledon that we are open and ready to treat your dog’s lockdown locks!

So #LoveLocal and visit Creature Company at 54 The Broadway in Wimbledon Town Centre (between Oddonos Gelati and VPZ).

Shopping local helps support local business and local jobs. Plus you’re shopping greener – less packaging than online purchases and less transport miles. So pop round the corner, find something new in Wimbledon, and support your local independent businesses – including the brilliant Creature Company!

 

How Zéro is Bringing Zero-Waste Living to Wimbledon

Zero Waste Wimbledon

Founders Josh and Alicia (image taken pre-Covid)

A new store joined Centre Court Shopping Centre at the end of last year, bringing with it a trailblazing new movement which could change the way that we shop.

 

Zéro is Wimbledon’s first zero-waste shop, where all products are sold in bulk or without disposable packaging and, where possible, come from organic or fair-trade farming and from local producers. Simply bring your own containers and fill them to the level you want!

Previously located at Merton Abbey Mills, the zero-waste shop offers a simple alternative to excessive single-use packaging consumption with a wide range of ready-to-go bulk items, including: vegan and palm-oil-free shampoo bars, recycled toilet paper and organic salted vanoffee cashews.

We sat down (virtually of course) with one of the founders of the store, Alicia, to find out more about the new innovative store.

Tell us more about Zéro and where the inspiration for the store came from…

“In July 2018, we joined the “Plastic Free July” challenge and tried to give up on single-use plastic for 1 month. To our surprise the challenge turned out to be a daily uphill struggle and we realised that we couldn’t be the only ones who felt this way! We drew our inspiration for Zéro from the continental European model of zero-waste grocery shopping, where there is still a culture of going to specialised shops for individual items e.g. bakery for bread, cheesemonger for cheese, etc. We used to shop in such establishments when we lived in France and Italy and thought there was no reason why the model should not be replicable in the UK. After all, this is how all shops used to be in this country as well before supermarkets monopolised the market!”

 

Why did you choose Wimbledon as a location for relocation?

After 1 and a half years at Merton Abbey Mills in South Wimbledon, we wanted to find a bigger unit in a more central location. This has enabled us to retain some of our customers, which was very important to us whilst also reaching out to many many more. We believe that the idea of zero-waste living must become more mainstream and having a shop in a major shopping centre in a place like Wimbledon will hopefully help achieve this. Moreover, the move has allowed us to increase our product lines, as the new unit is larger, making it easier for customers to find everything they need and cut down on waste in more areas of their life.

What products do you and your customers love best?

We like to think that people find our range appealing as a whole! But that said, we have a large choice of household cleaning products available for refills, which have always been very popular. We love our new range of grains and pulses from Hodmedod’s which are all grown in the UK and are helping contribute to a resurgence in the popularity of traditional grains and pulses such as carlin peas and spelt.

How do you see your store contributing to the future of the zero-waste movement in Wimbledon?

We would like to think that our shop will inspire people and even other businesses to make a difference. Our shop is not only a place where people can find eco-friendly products, it is also an area where new ideas and conversations about sustainability can germinate. We have already learned so much from our customers, some of whom are also involved in other sustainable groups and activities in the borough and we hope we can continue to be part of this movement!

As an essential store, Zéro remains open over lockdown so pay them a visit and begin your journey to a zero-waste lifestyle! Many other independent stores have joined Centre Court over the last few months – click here to find out more so you can head down when they re-open.