Welcome to OUR NEIGHBOURS. A Curated list of recommendations by the Copperfield team. We give you the inside scoop on like-minded, creative, independent businesses located in St Albans and the surrounding areas within Hertfordshire. Keep an eye out as we regularly update our 'need to know' neighbours.
Introducing Gracey's Pizza. A BIG favourite amongst the entire Copperfield team. Grace and James a creative duo, both super passionate about producing the best of the best pizza. Having spent years researching and refining the perfect pizza, their menu does not disappoint. Our top recommendation would be the Smokey Ron Pizza, with a side of the Fatalii Hot Honey, oooh that stuff's GOOD! Based in Chiswell Green, their restaurant is a must visit.
OWNER: Grace & James
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START GRACEY’S PIZZA:
The inspiration for Gracey’s came about after many pizza nights at home. James would make the dough days before and spend all day driving about picking up specific ingredients from Italian delicatessens, such as Buongiorno Italia in St Albans.
The next step was a new oven and inviting friends and family around to taste the pizzas. Each time the dough improved and they started to resemble a style of pizza that we’d seen on social media (Vincenzo’s & Crisp W6).
We got together a mobile set up and started slinging pizzas out of a car wash during lockdown. This proved to be popular and we started to build a customer base in the local area.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT GRACEY’S PIZZA:
We had never been to the United States but soon became fascinated by how different pizza looked over there compared to its native Italian styles. This got us excited at the possibilities and would influence the way we approached our own style: we like char! This means we bake the pizza for longer at a lower temp and ferment the dough for 36 hours to get the most flavour out of the blend of flours we use.
When it came to branding, we really wanted the name to be as personal as possible and after discovering that the name ‘Gracey’s Pizza’ wasn’t taken, we settled on that.
We signed a lease on a small shop in nearby Chiswell Green and began visualising and designing the space. Being located in a village, the visual aesthetic for the shop front needed to feel classic; being set back from the main road, it needed to get attention.
We sought out the best sign writers in the biz to come up with a design that met this brief which was hand painted with gold leaf and enamel paint.
Seeing the sign go up really made shit real…. Fast forward a year and we now have a small restaurant open five days a week serving crispy charred pizza.
WHO INSPIRES YOU CREATIVELY:
James studied Art at The London College of Communication and after graduating spent 10 years in the music industry as a drummer touring with different bands.
Grace studied International Relations and ended up working for Hemingway Design assisting with the curation of their events.
We both lived in London for many years before moving to St Albans and would say that we are inspired creatively from many subcultures. For Grace, this would be dance music and rave culture, but also amateur drama and production. James is obsessed with Typography and graffiti and loves the post punk bands from the 80s.
WHAT’S YOUR TOP RECCOMENDATIONS TO VISIT IN OR AROUND ST ALBANS? (FOOD/DRINK/CULTURE):
For a first time visitor to St Albans we’d probably start off with a coffee at Nkora followed by a walk down to the Abbey. After a stroll around historic Cathedral we would stop at the best brunch spot in town, Hatch.
This would be followed by some IPAs at The Beer Shop on London Road and finished off with some Birra Taco’s at The Boot(Boot Cantina). Last stop would be The King Harry for a pint.
NEXT UP in our OUR NEIGHBOURS series!!...
We introduce Alban Tattoo, based on Holywell Hill, St Albans. Tucked towards the back of the brilliant Lariatt Skateboard Store. (Another store to check out!) Alban Tattoo is tried and tested by many employees here at Copperfield, Will's knowledge, advise and skill set are top tier. Contrary to Will's bold traditional style, he is a zen master who's a passionate Father, dog Dad! and wellness enthusiast.
Considering a tattoo? check them out! By getting a traditional tattoo you are paying homage to the art form and keeping the tradition alive.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE ALBAN TATTOO COMPANY?
I opened my own shop to do my own thing and not to have a boss!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
My style is mainly traditional style, with my own take on it I guess
WHO INSPIRES YOU CREATIVELY?
I wouldn’t say anyone in particular inspires me... But traditional style tattooers looking through tattoo flash and various books...Also just stuff I see in everyday life, but not really Instagram try not to look at that much.
EXCLUDING FASHION! WHAT'S YOUR ONE MUST VISIT IN ST ALBANS?
The Boot, they do the best food! And falafel man on market days...But I’m pretty sure that’s not what stall is called!
NEXT UP in our OUR NEIGHBOURS series!!...
A collective favourite here at Copperfield, Brad & Dills. Conveniently located just around the corner from Copperfield Shop. Coffee and NYC inspired bagels, what more could you want?! From their delicious menu (we highly reccomend the Pollo Picante) to creative relaxed interior, great graphic branding and welcoming staff, it's an all round great eatery, a must visit!
Keep an eye out as they have just begun SWIFT evenings as well, Music, Pizza, Wine, Cocktails and Beer.
OWNERS: Alex & Olly
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE BRAD & DILLS?
A Speciality coffee and bagel shop dedicated to high quality, good vibes and a fun environment.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE BRAD & DILLS?Brad (Alex) and myself (Dill) have been friends since primary school. Alex had been working in coffee and hospitality for a few years and i’d been working as a food buyer in London, it felt like a match made in heaven for a coffee and bagel shop. We set our sights to open in our home town of Harpenden mainly because we wanted somewhere to get a nice cup of coffee and bring what we had learnt in the industry back to the suburbs of London. Both of us have an entrepreneurial mindset and have always chatted about the idea of starting a business together and when the opportunity arose, we went for it!
WHAT INSPIRES YOU CREATIVELY?
Partly the cool bagels shops of NYC for their simplicity and style. Plus the coffee shops of Sydney and Melbourne for their attitude and attention to details.
Both myself and Alex dabble in illustration and design, and we really wanted to tackle the designs ourselves
Alex also co founded an art platform called Creative Debuts while living in London so he’s been surrounded by artists trying to break out onto the scene for a while.