I have been planning to open a store in Bandra for over 2 years now. Every time it came to signing a contract on a place I liked, something happened and the deal fell through. I tried really hard to be ok with each attempt that failed but it just hurt too much. I put it off for a while and started work on other things. I channeled my energy on new ideas, new recipes and new designs. Still, I always felt this sort of void that I tried to ignore. Then at the beginning of this year I told my dad that I would like to start looking at properties again. We called brokers and the hunt began. My ever supportive family kept telling me that it will all happen when it has to. I started feeling a bit dejected as nothing seemed to work out.
Then one day, my dad and I were on our way to meet a friend in Bandra. On our way to her we passed a sign that read 'for lease'. My father pulled out his phone and called the number. I just looked at him skeptically and said it's impossible that a shop this prime is still available and even if it was the rent would kill me. We've got to try, he said. The owner of the place asked us where we were and if we could just wait at the shop for 5 minutes. He came and met us, told us the financials and said we could have the keys tomorrow if we wanted. I gulped and looked at my dad. Was this really going to happen? My father smiled and said we'll take it. I stood there stunned and couldn't move. Really? One of my dreams was going to come true just like that? We signed the papers the next day and I texted Pratish saying 'Le15 Bandra. It's done'. Pratish called me immediately and I didn't know how to express my happiness. He came to see the place the next day and we couldn't stop grinning. We went to Suzette to celebrate with a Nutella Crepe (obviously). Half way through the crepe, he turned the mat over, took a pen and told me 'Close your eyes Pooja and tell me what Le15 Bandra looks like'
I inhaled deeply. This is something that I have waited for for over 2 years. I have been saving images, drawings, post cards, references. I have been collecting souvenirs from each and every trip that I ever went on. This was the easy part. I closed my eyes and knew exactly how each and every inch of Le15 Bandra would look like. I started describing it and he started drawing it. By the end of our meal we had our interior design ready! I took this drawing to my friend's father who is an architect and said 'Uncle, I want you to create this space for us'
Slowly the project started taking shape. I didn't want to tell anyone about it because I was so burnt from past experiences. The week I signed the contract I was so excited I couldn't sleep, new recipes and menus going through my head all the time.
Building something from the ground up is the best feeling ever. I chose the tiles, the wood, the lights and the most fun part - decorating the walls!
Each and every thing in the store has a story to it. Each idea comes from a place of love. Every recipe on the menu has been tried and tested several times over (I blame all my weight gain on you guys!)
I hope you enjoy the store. I hope you are kind to it. I hope it makes you as happy as it makes me. Le15 is finally opening in Bandra and now I dream of taking it to Brazil :)
|Pratish with our store design :)|
|New tart menu!|
|Frames I lugged around from Sao Paulo last year|