He’s from Milan, he loves his coffee, and he owns King Street’s newest cafe. Meet Luca Marinoni, who recently launched Coffeeology – an exciting new choice for Ravenscourt Park’s legion of espresso sippers.
The former locksmith’s shop has been gutted and redesigned on two levels, with a main coffee zone at the front complete with long wooden banquette down the side, and a cosier area, three steps up at the back.
Luca and wife Lara (the couple live in Acton with their two children) came up with the look, leaving original brickwork exposed above deep blue hand-made tiles, and laying a floor made of boards salvaged from an old RAF base.
“Yes, there’s a lot of competition around here,” agreed Luca, 44. “But this bit of King Street is so nice that it deserves a bit more.”
The former TV producer, who moved to the UK seven years ago, set up a compact coffee shop in the centre of Richmond two years ago… but insists the new Ravenscourt Park cafe is not the start of a huge empire.
“I’ve learnt a lot in two years, and I’m passionate about good coffee,” he said. “I produce two blends myself, including an organic coffee, but I want to stay independent. This isn’t the start of a chain. I don’t want to complicate my life!”
A pink La Marzocco espresso machine steams, purrs and dispenses the coffee (£2.20 for espresso, £2.70 for cappuccino, and everything else in between), while a dozen leaf teas are offered, together with home-baked cakes and sandwiches, and fresh juices.
An all-day food menu including soups, sandwiches and salads, with gluten-free and vegan options, is about to be launched.
Luca, who has the names of his children, Leon and Nina, tattooed on his knuckles, aims to open up the building’s garden as an outdoor cafe area in the spring.
In the same way that pubs have guest ales, he has guest coffees. “People understand quality coffee; they’re more educated, and the more you educate the more they appreciate good coffee,” he said.
In double-quick time Coffeeology (wife Lara came up with the name) has become popular for group meetings, as well as with laptop freelances using the cafe wifi.
The challenges, admits Luca, are high rents and staffing. “I underestimated the Brexit effect,” he said. “Young people aren’t moving here from Italy and other places because of the current uncertainty. I love this country. London is such a hub, and it’s a shame to break this magic.”
Coffeeology is located at 308 King Street, midway between Stamford Brook and Ravenscourt Park tubes and directly opposite the front door of Tesco Express. It is open 7am to 5.30pm weekdays, 8am to 6pm Saturdays, 9am to 6pm Sundays.
For more details, visit the Coffeeology website.
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