Buddies, burgers and bars
Posted by Jacqui Cooper On 30th Mar 2020
It’s all happening in the Cooper household. Two new businesses – Lou & Joe’s Burger Co. and Beachyjax Lifestyle & Yoga Studio. New ideas, new habits, new conversations, new contacts. As I’m sure you can imagine we are all sleeping well 😁
Isn’t it exciting when a new chapter begins? Louie (my eldest son) and Joe have been friends since kindergarten and their friendship has certainly passed the test of time.
I’d like to share with you the intro from their website …
“We – that’s Lou & Joe – met when we were 3 years old at school in Huddersfield. Fast forward more than 20 years & we’re still the best of mates. Along the way we’ve worked together, played together, laughed & cried together, partied together, loved each other, hated each other, looked after each other & fought each other. Through it all we’ve learnt we share similar values & quite simply, trust each other implicitly. So, when it came to finding someone to help turn a dream into reality, we conveniently found we not only had one another’s backs, we had similar dreams too. Which brings us bang up to date with this place … Hopefully putting a huge smile on people’s souls.”
Here they are today after opening their first restaurant and bar, Lou & Joe’s Burger Co. in Holmfirth and a cool cocktail bar called Mix. With years of extensive travel and management experience in the hospitality industry, it’s time to go it alone.
It’s been a long and pretty exhausting three months to create the concept, the space, the vibe, and ultimately the reality of a business that encompasses all that they are passionate about. Literally from dawn till dusk they have worked their (now skinny) little butts off.
Styling – uniforms and the brand
From a styling perspective, I have coordinated the uniforms taking into consideration the message they want to portray. Which colour schemes will work and align with the brand? I’ve also had to consider the practicality of garments, ironing etc. to ensure they present well.
Corporate uniform design isn’t something I’m a stranger to. As a personal stylist, I’ve worked with quite a few companies to design uniforms from bars to coffee shops and even a West Yorkshire bus company.
A labour of love
With earthy natural hues and values to match – the restaurant has evolved and has expressed a passion for natural driftwood. Mostly hand-collected by the boys, washed up off the beach in Abersoch in Wales where Joe has spent many a childhood holiday.
A huge light fitting at the top of the stairs has once had a life as a tree root and is now admired not only as a functional light fitting but also a true work of art. I think we all lost count of the amount of hours Louie spent sanding it.
The team of dedicated, enthusiastic and skilled builders and designers interpreted Lou and Joe’s vision and they too got the bug for refashioning all things wood. From door handles to washroom mirrors, there is a real sense of a labour of love. Without this knowledge, you would of course assume they were all high-end design aesthetics. Joe’s dad, Nigel Wood is a local artist and was, I believe, an inspiration around their passion for driftwood and has impacted Louie’s creativity hugely.
Check out the window display feature below that Nigel created and his inspiration behind the concept. On the left in his Huddersfield studio and right in situ in the restaurant.
“In my art I draw a metaphor between driftwood/people and the seas/our environment and the way it shapes and defines us, aiming to express a little of what it is to be human. Taking its lead from their restaurant branding ‘Est. 1996’ the work for Lou & Joe’s describes the life-affirming richness and value of long-term friendships and just as their restaurant is a brilliant expression of what such a relationship can achieve.”
Nigel Wood – artist
Ok so back to the uniforms, no fuss, earthy tones, natural fabrics, must be practical – not poncey or pretentious. “Keep it simple Jac” (he doesn’t call me mum anymore 😂).
Here you go:
I chose denim aprons across service and kitchen staff with simple T-shirts which aligned with the collective youth of the team. In ‘Mix’ a slightly different colourway, which still pairs back to earthy tones. Burgundy tees with stone coloured cotton and faux leather trim bib aprons.
Simplicity and functionality all the way.
But the real success isn’t about how I have interpreted the brief of the uniform, it’s how ‘human kind’ Louie and Joe are. I’ve observed how engaging, interested, knowledgeable and tactile they are with their team and customers. They invested a lot of time to recruit people who also align with their values and work ethic. When you are in their space you can see and feel how they all ‘bounce’ energetically off each other and create a fun and relaxed environment.
It’s evident that they value connectivity and compassion. A gentle touch on the shoulder or an arm with an authentic welcoming greeting. I’ve learned a lot by observing how these young men show up in the world and want to make a difference.
What really moved me was reading
the final draft of the menu and learning that they named a burger after their
close friend Scott who nearly died after a serious car accident and spent six
months in a coma. For each ‘Scotty2hotty’ burger they sell, £2 is donated to
the Yorkshire Air Ambulance who airlifted him to hospital, which ultimately
saved his life.
Isn’t that a beautiful thing?
Talking of the menu, it’s a fun read which again aligns with their cheeky and fun sense of humour. But it’s not just burgers, there’s a significant vegetarian and vegan offering too with lots of interesting creative dishes that I’m slowly working my way through thanks to Sam the Man – Head Chef – and their collective inspirations from many years of travel, culinary experience and exploration. There is also the option to just call in for coffee and a sweet treat too!
You may be forgiven for thinking I’m the PR agent at this moment in time 😂
Making dreams into reality
As Mum I’m just proud as punch that these guys have followed a dream, used all the resources they have in and around them (especially Mr C’s business coaching), engaged like-minded people to help deliver a great experience, not just in food but with a genuine desire to make people feel good before during and after their dining experience.
And a big shout out to all the friends, family and professionals ( too many to mention) who helped make the dream a reality x
So, I’m just wondering, if you were to follow your passion, follow a dream, what does that look and feel like? More importantly, what if anything are you prepared to do about it?
And of course, Me and Mr C are available to coach you through the process – helping make dreams come true x
With love & gratitude …
Lou & Joe’s Burger Co. – www.louandjoes.com
Logo design and branding by Joe’s brother – [email protected]
Nigel Wood, artist – Instagram @aintlifewonderful