April 11, 2014
Having crossed the world to live in London, Sergio and Julian were “getting exhausted with the daily grind” of spending hours to get across the city by tube. It wasn’t until some friends invited them to spend a weekend in Amsterdam when they discovered all the things that this city had on offer: “we were sold and knew exactly where we were now moving to”. And after years of speaking of opening a restaurant together, “we had finally found a city where we would like to establish it”.
Sergio and I met on a night out back in 2006 in Los Angeles. Sergio was living there and was the co-owner of a Brazilian Churrascaria Restaurant, while I was there on a layover from my job as a steward with Air New Zealand. Thanks to the job I was spending on average 3 nights a week in LA and we spent our time eating and drinking our way around all the amazing restaurants and cuisines California had on offer. After 18 months having a long distance relationship between London & Los Angeles, Sergio upped-sticks and moved to London so we could be together.
After 5 fun years in London we were getting exhausted with the daily grind. Having to allow 1.5 hours travel time to get across the city by tube to meet with friends or to do chores was getting tiring. Neither of us were quite ready to move back to our home countries of Brazil or New Zealand though so we were really stuck on where to move next.
It was not long after that that decision would be answered after friends who had recently moved to Amsterdam invited us there for the weekend. We had both been there before but had not ventured far past the touristy Red Light District or local museums. Within 10 minutes of arriving at Central station we were on a small boat with friends, food and drink. The rest of the weekend was spent on bikes discovering all the amazing things Amsterdam had on offer. The sun shone for us by day that trip and the lights of the canal bridges seduced us by night. How could there be such a place, we were sold and knew exactly where we were now moving to.
Since meeting we had always spoken of opening a restaurant together. The business plan was in development for years and now we had finally found a city where we would like to establish it. Amsterdam has proven to be really receptive to Bakers & Roasters. In California & New Zealand, brunch culture is well entrenched and we wanted to share our favorite meal with everyone here. From the initial set-up 18 months ago through to today it seems like people are really loving our life inspired food and amazing coffee all served up by friendly passionate people.
It may be small compared to other major cities but Amsterdam punches way above its weight. After a full days work at Bakers & Roasters we still have plenty of time to go for a run around Vondelpark, see a concert or play in Leidseplein or have dinner along the Ij and all this 2 minutes from our front door. Ever since moving here we have been so busy with the setting up of the restaurant but we have also never been so relaxed. The city invites you to slow down and just take in all that’s good with life. Probably my favourite past time here on a warm summer’s day is take a boat out on the canals and soak up the rays while taking in all of Amsterdam’s sights from the water. It’s the best way to spend a summer’s day.