Published 24 May 2021
Healthy lunch time salad bowls were all the rage before the pandemic. Light office lunches are a requirement of many destined for lavish dinners out post-5pm. No London working hub has been more suited to the craze than Old Street, home to countless young professionals in need of sustenance.
Since 2019, Shoreditch has been home to atis, probably one of the more interesting healthy, pick-me-up grab and go concepts where words like “vibrant”, “nourishing”, and “plant-forward” are as integral to the venture as cold-pressed juices and chia seeds. It is not overly reliant on avocado, for example, and actually tries to keep its dishes seasonal, which you’d think would be standard at such enterprises but isn’t always. atis’ ‘build your own’ bowls are also a more careful proposition than most – given the choice, the idea is by far the superior option to the likes of Eat, Pret, and Leon, which are still heavily influenced by the satay noodles and brioche buns of 2018.
atis didn’t have much time trading before coronavirus set in. But it struck a chord nonetheless, and the brand is opening its second site on June 7 in Eccleston Yards, Victoria. It is ambitious, even risky, given commuting isn’t the tradition it has been for the last 100 years or so. But atis seems to have a solid plan in place.
CODE caught up with atis to find out about its expansion and fill in the gaps.
We were only open for a few months in Shoreditch before lockdown one happened and we had to adapt our business overnight to being solely a delivery service. Due to the popularity and rise of repeat custom that we saw throughout this time, we know there is a high demand for the atis offering. We have been really pleased with how the business has grown over the past year – so that together with a wonderful opportunity presenting itself with Eccleston Yards, played a large part in it being the right time for us to open up number two.
We have been searching for the right area for a while and we were immediately drawn to Eccleston Yards. It has a real community feel and there is not much around there in terms of a grab-and-go healthy lunch or dinner offering. We have got the impression that the local community really cares about health, wellness and sustainability, so we think that our focus on eating and living well will be well received by the locals. The area itself is developing constantly and we are really excited to be part of such a thriving part of town. Grosvenor Estate has been a huge support right from the start – we’re really thrilled to be opening our second site with them.
Our aim is to help people eat better and live better, and feel good doing it. We want people to feel uplifted, nourished and positive when they eat with us – so this is as much about the food as the overall experience. atis is known for pumping great music throughout the day, for our friendly upbeat staff and our contemporary urban design. Whether people are eating in with us or taking away, we want to make the experience memorable. All our bowls are plant-based and then you can choose to build on top of this if you want to (including chicken and fish options) – we want to encourage people to transition to a more plant-forward lifestyle, and feel that the best way to do this for now is to offer flexibility, balance and moderation. Ultimately, we want people to eat well and live well and to just have some fun whilst doing it!
We think there will always be a demand for healthier grab-and-go, casual dining offerings. This will only continue to grow as people are increasingly eager to lead healthy lifestyles – and the demand for convenience is also still very prevalent. atis offers nutritious, satisfying bowls that are ideal for lunches and dinners, for those working from home or for office workers wanting a quick and nutritious lunch. Also, for those on the go wanting to grab a bite that isn’t a sandwich – this is perfect and we don’t see the demand for this slowing down.
We have set our sights on a few spots we’d like to see the atis sign pop up in. But first we must see how this second site goes!