Find out more about the breakfast (and lunch) of Champions!
The tyres have been parked and the hatch is now open at the brand-new Champions Truck in The White Building lobby serving hot drinks and snacks to take away or enjoy in the touchdown or meeting areas. To celebrate its opening we had a (socially distanced) sit down with Tim Grant who runs both Champions and soon-to-open café Frestons to get some inside information about both of the campus’s exciting new additions.
ND: How did the Notting Dale campus inspire the vision for Champions and Frestons?
TG: It’s an amazing place and having worked with campus management on the redesign and naming of the site, the history of Frestonia was a real journey and joy to discover. Between that and the art influence, we’re so lucky to be surrounded by so much creativity. We hope the menu and interior design will be a real pleasure for everyone, tying in with the themes and unique vibe of the campus.
ND: How did you go about planning the menu for both locations?
TG: Our focus is of course on making sure the people of Notting Dale have great options for breakfast, lunch and drinks throughout the day. We seek out great flavours for dishes influenced from world cuisine, typically with a healthy slant knowing that they need to be grab and go, with hot options too. You’ll see the menu rotating over time to keep things interesting! The provenance of our food is also really important to us and as far as possible we aim to ensure the best waste and packaging solutions to minimise any environmental impact.
ND: Can you tell us how and why you chose the names for Champions and Frestons?
TG: Naturally we looked to the amazing eccentric history of Frestonia to keep that spirit alive! Champions takes its name from Champion Dining Rooms, the original cafe and meeting place in the Republic of Frestonia in the 1970s and 80s which you can see in Tony Sleep’s fantastic photography. The name for Frestons speaks for itself I think, but it reflects our independence and firm roots in the area.
ND: How will Champions and Frestons serve the campus, and are there any changes you’ve had to make given the current situation?
TG: Champions will be the smaller and more casual sidekick to Frestons. With fewer people around the campus right now due to the current restrictions we’ll be launching Champions with our house blend coffees and small batch teas, and introducing artisan house-made sandwiches, soups, snacks, plus our newly developed range of smoothies and shakes. Frestons (opening soon) will have a wider selection of food options both hot and cold, with a delicious choice for breakfast and lunch and a welcoming space in in which to enjoy time away from the desk. We’re of course taking all the precautions keep everyone as safe as possible – we’ll also be keen to get feedback, so we welcome ideas and requests as we open and get used to daily life on campus.
ND: Any sneak peaks you can give us on what’s to come at Frestons?
TG: It’s worth peering through the windows as we gear up for the grand opening. The design is really fantastic with carefully considered zoned seating areas; an upbeat central catch up area, smaller alcoves for more private meetings, and plenty of outdoor seating overlooking the public art and square. We’ll have also have boutique coffee and lifestyle goods for sale, as well as the odd event to keep things interesting during and after work!
Header image photo credit: 'Gerry and his motorbike' © Tony Sleep