Meet entrepreneurial sisters Victoria and Grace Sheppard who are launching their first eatery in Queen Street.
Words by Reyhaan Day
Victoria Sheppard and her sister Grace are behind Queens of Mayfair, a new artisan coffee shop at 17 Queen Street.
Victoria has worked as a senior PR and marketing strategist with restaurants UMU and The Greenhouse, with Fortnum & Mason and across a variety of luxury campaigns.
Meanwhile Grace is “taking charge of the design of the premises”. She has managed interior design projects for high-net-worth clients at luxury property company Chartwell.
She also previously launched the Hammer Holdings venue The Wedding Gallery, as well as studying nutrition.
“Our skills complement each other nicely,” says Victoria.
“We have both always wanted our own hospitality business and have a passion for the industry.”
“Our family have a property business within the building that Queens will be based in, and we have always loved the character of the site.
“I sold a property I owned, allowing me to invest in a business, and the ground floor at 17 Queen Street became available in the same week.
“Grace and I spoke and decided we would make it happen. That was in October of last year.”
The siblings know the area well, including the potential footfall and clientele Queens hopes to attract.
“We have always shared a lunchtime frustration with our colleagues of trying to find somewhere to eat or grab and go that’s not serving mass-produced offerings, is tasty and doesn’t break the bank.
“Likewise, for after-work drinks there are few middle grounds between a pub and a five-star hotel bar,” she adds.
Victoria and Grace aim to provide a solution to this gap in the market with an all-day food and coffee offering, evening drinks and an additional private dining and events space.
“We’ll start the day with eggs, smoked salmon, porridge, juices and fresh pastries.
“At lunch we’ll offer healthy salads and artisan sandwiches.
“In the evening, we’ll have snacks like cheese and charcuterie boards.
“There will be a few ‘Mayfair’ twists on the menu, where you can add caviar or truffle to some of our signature dishes.”
She adds: “We want to offer classic dishes done very well.”
Queens will also have a considered plant-based offering.
Plus, it will be the first coffee shop to partner with Difference Coffee, which works exclusively with Michelin-starred restaurants, private members’ clubs and hotels.
“We will have the highest-graded takeaway coffee in Mayfair,” says Victoria.
Come evening, guests can choose from a selection of wines and cocktails.
Aged just 30 and 28, launching a Mayfair-based, all-day eatery is a bold move.
But Victoria says they are relishing the opportunity.
“Having been involved in many high-profile campaigns, it’s a dream come true to launch Queens with my sister Grace.”