In fact, he managed the likes of Deacon Blue, Inspiral Carpets, Granddaddy and Ben Folds Five, and co-founded several labels including Nude Records, which signed Suede and Mother Tongue, who released My Life Story’s classic debut album. Not bad, eh?
Earlier this year, an ex-car showroom slated for re-development tempted Julian to relocate to east London. Ever the entrepreneur, he saw an opportunity within this pink mock-tudor plot: to pursue a long-held ambition to open a vintage shop, with the added sweetener of great coffee.
Stone & Crow was born, a homage to both the area and its Hitchcock connection. Opening back in July, with a beautiful blue 1966 Sunbeam Alpine in pride of place – in recognition of the building’s heritage – the shop is part living room, part garage, part design showroom, part urban junkyard.
“Here, you’ll find everything from mid-century furniture to industrial lighting, vintage clothing and designer seconds,” he says, “plus artworks by D*Face, Banksy, Micallef, Shepard Fairey and Pure Evil, and a bunch of other curios.”
It’s a case of the more you look, the more you see. “And with more stock added each week, it’s worth dropping by on a regular basis,” he adds. Already, Stone & Crow has quickly established itself as one of the new wave of openings along the High Road, ‘joining-the-dots’ of the vanguard of creative change in the locale.The cafe is the shop’s most recent addition, and it’s already drawing the weekenders in. Right now, coffee culture’s renowned presenter and barista, The Girl in The Cafe, is completing a guest spot. Fresh from a stint at Barcelona’s Nomad Coffee shop, TGITC is something of an international coffee champion with her own web series launching soon.
And she’s curating a host of “world coffees”, starting with the Guatemalan Roast, from Alchemy Coffee Roasters, and then Barcelona’s Nomad Coffee, alongside a selection of teas and Karma Cola soft drinks. Home-baked eats and treats include coconut ‘amazeballs’ (no, we don’t know either), protein bombs, fresh scones, pastries and cookies. Subsequent weeks will see roasts from Five Elephants (Berlin), Coffee Supreme (Melbourne) and Rich Coffee Roasters (NZ) amongst others.
“Having been part of Camden and the beginning of the Britpop era in the 1990s,” Julian says, “I feel there’s a similar energy and creative enterprise happening in Leytonstone right now. E11 is attracting a wealth of promising artists, designers, and entrepreneurs with heaps of enthusiasm who are willing to ‘give it a go’ – and the community is welcoming this with excitement and support.”