There are always scars after a battle - these are ours.
After almost 10 years, we closed the doors of our ‘The Light’ store one final time.
It has been a monumentally successful store, but sadly we just did not find a way to save it.
We always wondered what it would be like to close a store, as with The Calls and Bond Court, we poured the cliche’ “blood sweat and tears” with a good dose of Milanese heart too. When you painted the logo on the wall yourself, scrubbed every corner of the unit more than you ever did your own home - you never quite think of how it would feel to do the reverse one day.
For the record, it sucks. It’s a numbing pain, one that you do not want to share and want to make just yours.
Opened in May 2011, it became the first Espresso bar outside of London where you could still drink an Espresso at 11:00pm at night. A first for Leeds, a first for the North - that habit of pioneering that has been a constant in the history of this brand and still drives us to this day.
As for many people, this has been a period of incredible worry, stress, anxiety and relentless work behind the scenes. Lawyers, landlords, authorities and administrators at one point. Pressure, a lot of pressure on you to be able to find a solution. You should be good enough to predict an outcome, you should come up with a plan whilst being a solid leader to those who look at you for reference, work, hope. You should, you should, you should - but this time you can’t.
A solution wasn’t found, but what we have been able to do is to look after our own, fiercely. Our staff has been protected and looked after, right up to now, our suppliers fully paid bang on the 20th of March.
We are immensely sad to see our team go, we do hope to be able to welcome back some at our Bond Court store when things start picking up again. In the meantime we are doing everything possible to place them in other indie Businesses around the area.
But -with chaos always come opportunity. Looking forward..
The Light store has come to an end, but La Bottega Milanese is still strong, trading from our Bond Court store where it has been supported by all of you in a manner we never had imagined.
Our new webshop launched during the pandemic gaining a following and regular customers of its own.
Our appeal is ever increasing, leading to the addition of a couple of exciting collaborations via our office supply & self serve kiosk offer which we will announce very soon. New trade accounts too, as well as chats with potential landlords, all positive signs that we need to focus on and gain encouragement from.
Sometimes you have to take a step back to go forward, and we are already on with it..
“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”
― Sun Tzu
We can’t wait to see you at our Bond Court store. We opened it for trade (every day) since last week, 9-4 Weekdays & 10-4 Sundays take away only.
On the 4th of July we will start welcoming back people and sitting them down. Not quite sure in what form, but you certainly will be able to sit in our terrace outside using our tables for now. Full details will be released on our social platforms in the lead up to next Saturday.
Grazie, arrivederci and #BEMILANESE
In the meantime, we hope to hear from you on our social media platforms and see you on our webshop if you can't make it in just yet ;)