Wow, what an energizing morning I have just had at ‘Roast’ in Borough Market. Having never been to Borough Market in 25 years, in the last 10 days I have been twice and look forward to visiting again when the full market is in situ as detected a real buzz.
‘Roast’ is owned by Iqbal Wahhab OBE, founder of the Cinnamon Club. It was so nice to hear from someone who is passionate about engaging the business with society, which was what the breakfast salon for Editorial Intelligence was all about.
Iqbal Wahhab OBE is a businessmen and not a chef and his success comes from his view on investing in the business from a customer’s point of view and ensuring you have an overall experience when visiting his establishments. His background is PR and it is definitely evident with his approach, he gets it with his unique approach of using an apprentice scheme and more importantly working with offenders.
He offers people a chance to shine and that is why he has a ‘team’ who are just that. He invests in the staff and giving them ‘hope’ and ‘self-worth’.
He shared many stories but the one that stood out to me was about Mohammed a 19 year old from Brick Lane who had been in prison. He worked with him and gave him a purpose. This in turn gave him hope and he turned his life around by getting a girlfriend, having a child and now runs a team of six in a restaurant.
I was also very interested with the charities that he works with from www.mumsthechef.com to www.switchback.org.uk.
Giles Gibbons of ‘Good Business’ who I have heard speak at a previous Editorial Intelligence breakfast salon event was also there and spoke about the connection of Sustainable Restaurants Association and apprentice schemes. Sustainable Restaurant Association have a very informative newsletter, worth signing up too (www.sra.org)
It was a really inspirational breakfast club meeting and as a result I will be following his blog www.iqbalwahhab.com. And, if you want to attend such inspiring events then check out Editorial Intelligence www.editorialintelligence.co.uk