Grout & About: Marlo’s Deli & Coffee Lounge

Welcome to the second edition of Grout & About –  a brand-spanking new semi-regular feature in which we visit some of our favourite bars, venues, and eateries and take an in-depth look at their unique interior style. This instalment sees us paying a visit to a wonderful new venue in the heart of the community; Marlo’s Deli & Coffee Lounge in Stoke on Trent. We sat down for a coffee and some cake with owner Danika Wilson to find out more about how Tile Mountain products allowed this interesting space come to life…

What were the circumstances behind the setting up of the business?

I became unemployed at the end of March 2017 and, after much thought, decided to open a business next door to my dad and step mum’s tanning shop. I have lived in the area my whole life and felt like the community was crying out for something like this – a deli and coffee lounge was always going to be great fit for the community.

Marlo's owner, Danika Wilson

Marlo’s owner, Danika Wilson

What influenced the choice of location? Was the character of the building big factor or was it more a case of it being a blank canvass on which to stamp your own style?

The building was a dental practice previously but closed down around 10 years ago and had remained so ever since. As mentioned, my family own the store next door, so that kind of influenced my choice of location. When we first got the keys to the premises it was was all white, with PVC wall cladding with false ceilings. We soon took that all out and put our own stamp on the place though!

The service/prep area under construction

When planning the initial fit-out, did you know you wanted tiled areas or did it only become apparent as the dining floor/service area developed?

I knew from when I started planning the venture that tiles or stainless steel would play a big part in the interior. I opted for Tile Mountain’s Linea Beige tiles for the back wall of the prep/service area as I knew they’d fit with the interior decor style a lot better.

Was your choice of decor & colour scheme influenced by the tiles you chose, or did you pick the tiles to fit in with a style you’d chosen for the rest of the room?  

I chose the tiles to fit in with the decor of the shop. You can see from the photos that they really complement the aesthetics I was going for with the dining area.

Linea by Tile Mountain pre-grouting

What made you decide that the tiles you chose were the right tiles for Marlo’s and the ‘vibe’ you wanted to create?

The tiles I chose fit perfectly with the colour scheme I had in mind and really complement the sort of vintage/retro interior style I opted for.

How long did the project take to complete and did you do the tiling yourself or hire a professional tiler?

It took us around 8 weeks to get everything into place at Marlo’s. I did the tiling myself with the guidance of family members – I think I made a decent job of it!

The service/prep area complete

What part of the fit-out was most difficult and why?

The hardest part was trying not to forget the little things you need to finish of jobs. It was the last few finishing touches that really made the place look the part.

What advice would you give to any entrepreneurs considering undertaking a similar design/fit-out project?

Shop around a lot before you just buy things – it really is those  those finishing touches that make the difference.

Vintage style at the paypoint

What would you say to independent business owners who are thinking about buying tiles from Tile Mountain?

Tile Mountain were really helpful to me when I went into the store to check out tiles. I had never tiled before and have never really done anything DIY before if I’m honest!  That didn’t turn out to be a problem though as I went in with my measurements and some ideas and the guys there helped me choose everything I needed and gave me some great advice.

Marlo’s Deli & Coffee Lounge, Unit 451 Beverley Drive, Bentilee, Stoke on Trent. Opening hours 7am -5pm (Mon – Sat).  Call 01782 75650 for details.