ldner #211: peyman and rana darban

This week’s LDNERs are the husband and wife team behind White Mulberries in St Katharine Docks, which is located in Ivory House, the only original warehouse still standing in the docks. Opened in 2012, the White Mulberries was named the best coffee shop in London at the 2014 Coffee Stop Awards. Meet Peyman and Rana Darban…

Where do you live in London and what do you like about the area?

We live on the outskirts of London in a pretty village called Loughton, there is a Central Line tube which brings us to Liverpool Street in 30 minutes. It is right next to the amazing Epping forest and with a choice of great schools.

Where did your passion for coffee come from?

We got together because of our mutual love of coffee and got married a year after, so you could say that this was destined from the very beginning. We both wanted to open a coffee shop before leaving our previous careers behind. My husband Peyman previously worked in the leather industry and I had worked in sales and marketing. We opened our first coffee shop in 2004 in Barbican, way before coffee was hip. We opened White Mulberries at St Katharine Docks in 2008.

How do you do source the coffee you serve in the cafe?

We carefully hand select the roasters we like to work with from all around the world and rotate our guest coffee frequently, including offerings from local roasteries. Currently, we are really enjoying Assembly’s Magarrisa, an Ethiopian espresso. Just as important to the quality of the coffee is having highly skilled baristas at hand to make the perfect cup. We see ourselves as very much part of London’s thriving coffee community which keeps us ahead of the pack. We were one of the very first shops to serve the now ubiquitous cold brew.

Why did you choose St Katharine Docks as the place to set up White Mulberries?

It’s unbelievable to think that St Katharine Docks is in the centre of London. It feels like being on vacation everyday, right next to Tower Bridge and 10 minutes walk to Shoreditch. We want people to consider our café as their second home, office or favourite coffee stop and feel like they never want to leave. Being in one of the iconic locations in London with beautiful scenic views certainly helps deliver this impression.

Describe your perfect day in London.

Both Peyman and I are yoga enthusiasts and find that it always provides a boost to our day. A good alternative form of exercise is a morning cycle ride with our son Aiden in Victoria Park. This would be followed by brunch at The Good Egg in Stoke Newington which puts a fabulous Middle Eastern twist on this weekend favourite. After that, we’d head to the Tate Modern. We’ve always been passionate about graffiti, as you can see from the distinctive artwork at White Mulberries and our central role in the Coffee Art Project.

D3 Ivory House, St Katharine Docks, London, E1W 1AT