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Sasha and Kenya, founders of Seven

This week we’ve been chatting with Sasha and Kenya, founders of Seven the IT brunch spot in Brussels.

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Tell us about Seven, what is the concept all about?

Seven is an all-day café & eatery. In our beautiful and welcoming space, we serve homemade, seasonal food for breakfast and lunch, alongside specialty coffee and other drinks. We pride ourselves on using high-quality ingredients that we source from local and sustainable suppliers.

How did you come up with this project, and what pushed you to do it?

We are childhood friends and both ended up working for our respective family businesses. Sasha in the restaurant industry and Kenya in the field of design & architecture. 

We shared the ambition of wanting to be independent and to create something entirely new by ourselves, outside of our respective family businesses, but we’re both unsure of exactly what. 

Having both studied abroad and travelled the world quite extensively, we also realised the extent to which such spaces were missing in Brussels. 

But the idea for the project really came to life when our boyfriends, who are also best friends and business partners expanded their business (ANIMO Studios, a boutique fitness brand) to a new location. There just to happened to be a free space next to their new location and we took this a sign - we needed to open an all day café/restaurant just next door and benefit from the complementary of our two businesses).

The food, the marketing, the team... How do you decide who takes care of what?

Everything fell into place quite naturally, as we are quite complementary given our past professional experiences. 

With her experience in the restaurant space, Sasha took the lead on the conceptualisation and development of our menu, recipes, etc… (today, our chef @fitfoodness helps us in this regard). 

Kenya’s past experience in communications & PR led her to take the lead on a things branding, marketing, and the design of the space. 

But although we fully trust each other in our respective “fields”, all important decisions are always taken together.

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The place is so beautiful, why do you think design is important in a café/restaurant?

Kenya’s father is an architect and grew up with a strong affinity for design. It was therefore quite instinctive to us that we should design a beautiful and refined space that at the same time is welcoming, cozy and comfortable.

Favorite breakfast choice?

Acai bowl, no doubt about it!

3 tips on making your brand "stand out" on Instagram?

  1. Always stay authentic and focus on building the best business you possibly can, rather than generating content. Right from the the start, we never invited any influencers or paid anyone to generate content for us. It came naturally and authentically and it’s so much more powerful that way. 

  2. Share your values and the quality of your products. We focus on sharing the high-quality ingredients we use as well as the artisans and suppliers we used to build our beautiful space.

  3. The space is very “instagramable”. Like it or not, it’s essential these days. It helped us attract an influential crowd which in turn attracted many more people.

Favourite Kimai pieces?

Kenya is constantly wearing the prime ring on her pinky as well as two semi hoop earrings. She also has her eyes on the juno ring right now. 

Sasha wears the silo earring

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Seven seems to be the place to be in Brussels, how did you manage to hype it up like that?

To be honest, we didn’t expect such hype as soon as we opened. It shows the extent to which such a space was missing in the neighbourhood and even Belgium, as we have many clients travelling all the way from Antwerp, Ghent, and even the seaside. 

But all in all, there’s no secret, it’s a combination of many factors: a beautiful space, a diverse and high-quality menu, a friendly and welcoming team…

These days, with social media, everything spreads so quickly.

Favorite brunch place in NYC / London for those that can't get to Seven?

London: Granger & co / Jolene / 26 grains 

Paris: Gramme

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Not really ! Kenya studied fashion and wanted to be a buyer. At the time, Sasha’s siblings were working in the family business and it seemed natural that she would join them, and she never really questioned that.

However, we both always wanted to create something and to feel accomplished and independent. Both of us also ended up in a relationship with entrepreneurs, which gave use even more drive to build something of our own.

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What's next in store for Seven?

We always want to bring novelties, new recipes, do collaborations with like-minded brands, etc… But for now, we just want to stay focused on our new space that has only just opened a few months ago.


If you want to keep up with Seven you can follow them here

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