Pop Up Meet Up Heads to Brighton

Beautiful Venue? Tick. Beer and homemade lemonade? Tick. Delicious treats? Tick. House packed with people and enthusiastic speakers? Tick and tick. Overall, We Are Pop Up’s latest Pop Up Meet Up in Brighton was a great success as budding entrepreneurs, artists and people with retail spaces came together to discuss ideas and upcoming projects.



Held in Taj’s Tea Parlour, a beautiful and quaint pop up located in Brighton Square, the Pop Up Meet Up sought to announce new initiatives as well as teach ways to fund and start your own pop up. Teaming up with Brighton & Hove City Council*, we were delighted to have a fantastic line-up of speakers who shared their experiences and advice.

Speaker’s Corner

Our very own Abi Freeman was excited to announce that We Are Pop Up has  achieved our goal of opening 10 pop up shops in Brighton since last year. She also introduced the recent #ShopShare initiative, allowing independent businesses to rent a shelf, table, or concession in an existing shop.

Next up was Sophie Giblin of Kollektiv Gallery, who has launched not one but two successful pop up art galleries funded through Kickstarter and run by emerging artists for emerging artists. Both crowdfunding campaigns hit 50% of their target within an incredible 24 hours and hit full funding within 2 weeks. Impressive. With her list in hand, Sophie gave us a handy step-by-step rundown on what to expect when starting your own Kickstarter campaign. Notable tips included: condense your campaign elevator pitch to one sentence that you can repeat everywhere, from Tweets to email signatures. Also, if you don’t raise all the money you set out to raise, you don’t get to keep the funds.


We were also pleased to have Branwen Lorigan from Brighton & Hove City Council, announcing their latest endeavour, The Loop Brighton. Created in collaboration with members of Brighton & Hove’s creative community, they aim to inform of upcoming festivals, resources, showcasing spaces, and more for individuals and creative organisations. To become a member, email them here.

Ashleigh from Somewhereto South East England dropped by to tell us about their initiatives and projects in Brighton. As a service funded by the Big Lottery Fund, they help young people find space to fulfil their ideas and events all around the UK. Follow him on Twitter at @somewhereto_SE for their latest updates.


Taj Noel Cambridge of Taj’s Tea Parlour was kind enough to host our event in her parlour as well as share her experiences in opening up her very own pop up. Her key takeaway from the experience: using We Are Pop Up helped her secure a space without the hassle and stress, allowing her to focus more on her business.

For our latest spaces in Brighton & Hove, see here. If you’d like to list your pop up project then you can get started here, or to list your property, click here.

*Part-funded by the European Union’s Interreg 4a Recreate project


Pop Up Shop Community Event: Pop Up Meet Up PipsDish

This past wednesday, March 6th we were joined by vibrant members of London’s underground and independent cooking community to celebrate the ethos and ideas that motivate innovation in the kitchen. We were delighted to host the evening at PipsDish, a wonderful space tucked away behind Upper Street in Islington in a converted Citroen Garage.

All too often, we speak to people who have a wonderful idea for a foodie pop-up, but who get stuck when it comes to making it happen. Or perhaps they have been running a successful Supper Club in their home for a while, but are unsure how to take it to the next level.

We decided it was time to address these questions head-on. So for this Pop Up Meet Up we invited some of our most admired restauranteurs, who have grown their businesses from humble pop-up beginnings to more established movements and asked them to share their stories.

Our panelists for the evening were Philip Dundas of PipsDish, Martin Morales of Ceviche, and Cynthia Shanmugalingam of Kitchenette, the UK’s first food business incubator. Laura Day of Digest Magazine played compere for the evening and conversation lubrication came in the form of 2 ridiculously tasty wines supplied by A Grape Night In.

“Not for the faint-hearted” (Philip Dundas)

Starting up your own restaurant is serious business. Philip and Martin shared their personal journeys – ‘cooking for friends and family’ at first, and then asking for referrals until they were filling rooms entirely with newcomers. Using the pop-up model, Kitchenette looks to give emerging cooks the tools necessary to get their ideas out of the house and into the world.

Philip made an insightful point: “pop-up is entrepreneurship,” an ideal way to ease into bigger projects, build a community and develop a business plan. Having been through an accelerator program, we here at We Are Pop Up completely support a model which triumphs speed and access to new resources. Projects like Kitchenette are great for exposure and can facilitate growth in unexpected and exciting ways.

How Do You Take The Next Steps?

The panel uniformly agreed that ‘waiting for the perfect opportunity’ to take the next step could mean you miss a number of chances to innovate and develop. Don’t wait – mortgage your house, borrow your friend’s lounge, steal crockery from neighbours and spread the word. Reveal your passion for food, look after your guests and remember why it is you embarked on the adventure in the first place – the journey is more rewarding than the destination.

“Then you start inviting the ‘sneezers’,” that is: the bloggers and writers whose every nasal expulsion makes news. Having people in the room with clout and reach will help extend your network and your story. Whilst asking directly for reviews or a big news break may seem like the obvious outcome, simply asking for their impressions, ideas and suggestions for your project will help lay the foundation for meaningful long-lasting relationships.

What Are You Waiting For?

Philip’s recent “Opportunities For Cooks” post hits on some great upcoming opportunities for food entrepreneurs at PipsDish. We will be announcing more details about the application process towards the end of the month. Make sure you’re signed up to wearepopup.com to receive updates via email.

Further impressions of #PUMU: The Effervescent Collective reviews the evening.