Inspired by Irish family-run business Avoca (famous for it’s luxurious blankets, glassware, ceramics and garden goodies), Jenny Hughes took a leap of faith by giving up her well paid (but not so interesting) job in consultancy to open her very own home & gift ware boutique in Islington, London.
“Avoca is a destination in itself, It’s got beautiful stuff for your home, you can meet your sister for lunch, stroll around, stay for the day or a few hours. I was obsessed with it and worked there for a time I when I was in college. My whole family loves it and when I came to London there was nothing like it so I decided to open one of my own. I had to start small, Home and Pantry is a tiny version of what I want to do.”
It might be small but its no less stylish. Home and Pantry specialises in french country and shabby chic home & garden furnishings, alongside elegant, hand-picked jewellery & accessories. Jenny focuses on providing a truly unique experience to her customers, from assisting you with picking the perfect wedding gift to sourcing specific furnishings to make your house a beautiful home. She prides herself on having a wide range of suppliers which means the stock in Home and Pantry changes weekly so each time you visit you’ll see something new.
When she first moved to London from Ireland Jenny was visiting a friend who lived in Angel and it was love at first sight. Especially when she had lunch at Ottolenghi which felt to her like a modern version of the cafe in Avoca. Even though she lives in Wapping, Jenny was determined to find a home for her shop in N1 and so the hunt began.
It took a while to find the right space but Jenny decided to take matters into her own hands. Instead of relying on local estate agents she pounded the cobbles herself and spoke to local retailers and asked if there were any shops about to become available in Camden Passage. A plan that paid off because even though 114 Islington High St already had a prospective tenant contracts hadn't been signed, so Jenny allowed the landlord to look over her business plan and the rest as they say is history.
That love of all things Islington extends to her neighbors on Camden Passage and she recommends ..........
The Breakfast Club for (in their own words) sex, drugs and bacon rolls.
(link to this picture below on TST Pinterest)
The Workshop for luxurious clothes Loop as a destination store because not only does it look gorgeous, it has everything you need for knitting and runs knit and crochet workshops upstairs.
Jenny believes you have to make customers feel special, she prides herself on remembering your name and what you bought on your last visit, often enquiring how the new mirror looks in that specific corner of your home or whether your sister loved the necklace you bought for her birthday. Home and Pantry caters for people who care about the surroundings, want value for money without sacrificing style and want more of an experience out of their shopping.
Every morning Jenny cycles from her home in Wapping on her vintage bike to get the train into work. She recommends a nosy down Brick Lane for bicycle baskets and the service of the “good guys” at E1 Cycles in Whitechapel who also have a shop in Chapel Market in Islington.