“I have always been passionate about art,” says Andres Puentes, founder of Pepita Coffee based inside Camden’s Let It Roll Records store. “One thing that struck me was that art was not always affordable, so I began to think about different ways that people purchase art. One day I was looking at a coffee tin and the idea came to me that this could be a canvas, a unique way to bring art – and coffee – to the masses, and in turn supporting artists by giving them an opportunity to display their work in a totally new way.”
Despite the best efforts of the global pandemic, Andres managed to launch his innovative art-on-a-tin concept while also becoming established as a social hub at the heart of the exciting strip of shops and food outlets lined up along lower Kentish Town Road.
Recent months have been extra tough. “The record store being classed as non-essential means it has repeatedly had to close,” says Andres. “Yes, we can operate click and collect, but the joy of buying records is to come to the shop and spend time browsing, so it hasn’t really worked for us. We also closed the coffee down in January to support the lockdown, and the store lost 80% of its revenue as a result.”
There’s a kickstarter appeal if you can spare some cash to support Let It Roll and Pepita Coffee continue to support artists and musicians and prepare to return with a series of exhibitions and live music events later in the year.
Sales of the expanding range of art tins also support the cause, with the latest limited edition range from contemporary printmaker Jayson Lilley a particularly striking addition.
“We are always on the lookout for great artists to collaborate with,” says Andres. “Jayson is an award-winning British artist and his Love You London series is gorgeous and very now. We worked with Jayson and Art Republic, creating three different designs for the coffee tins to go with his prints, all released in time for Valentines Day.”
The tins depict the NHS-supporting rainbows that have been an icon of the lockdowns shining a positive light over London skyline scenes, including the view from the top of Parliament Hill. You can find them, alongside more 250g tins of 100% arabica blend coffee by artists including Sicovecas, Nick Day, Jenny Arran, Vane MG, Magnus Gjoen, Chris Arran, Topo, Barbara Hulanicki, Victoria Shatilova and Pez, at the Pepita online shop.
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