International Email Interview: Q&A with Speedy’s Café

Thanks to all of you who submitted questions for Speedy’s Café. Their answers are below!

Q: When did you first find out the BBC Sherlock cast would be filming in your café?
A: We first found out a couple of months before filming. It was a great surprise to us and we jumped at the chance of being a part of something so brilliant and British!

Q: Whose idea was naming some of the food as the Sherlock & John wraps?
A: Firstly we are always so inspired by the Sherlock fans – they’re very creative so the initial demand for the Sherlock named food came from their enthusiasm for the café and the programme. We wanted a way to get the Sherlock community together which is partly why we asked them to share ideas. Once Speedy’s staff decided on the winner for the Sherlock wrap, the Watson wrap idea was a no brainer – there is no Sherlock without the Watson. We also wanted to cater to those who didn’t eat meat as the Sherlock wrap is an absolute meat feast!

Q: How many Sherlockians pass by your Café and how many actually eat there?
A: We get around 10-20 Sherlock fans a day passing by to take photos. Most Sherlockian’s like to come in and experience the food, gaze at the still shot photographs on the walls and ask the staff questions. Everyone’s been so supportive of the show and everything associated with it so we are of course humbled by it all!

Q: Are the t-shirts the only souvenirs you sell? Can we get them online?
A: In addition to the t-shirts, we also have Speedy’s mugs which feature our red canopy! We have so many other ideas but of course for the moment we want to keep everything quite classic. We are also looking into selling merchandise on our website. We have had a limited amount of our merchandise available on Ebay for those who just can’t wait to get their hands on the products.  Just because you can’t travel to London, doesn’t mean you can’t have a piece of Speedy’s at home with you!

Q: Do you have a photo of your staff with the BBC Sherlock cast?
A: There were quite a few photos we put on twitter of staff with Benedict and Martin and one of the owner (Chris Georgiou) with the lovely female cast of Sherlock. We have a couple more in the shop.

Q: Do you think Speedy’s Cafe became a sort of ‘place of pilgrimage’ for Sherlock fans?
A: It’s kind of strange to think of it as a ‘pilgrimage’ but I guess yes, in the sense that Sherlock fans feel like they can come here to be a part of something they love so much where they can meet people with that similar interest in the show also. That sense of community is what makes the show so special. It’s really refreshing to see people from all ages, ethnicities and social backgrounds coming together, supporting each other in some way or other!

Q: What was the coolest experience of appearing in “Sherlock”?
A: When we all first watched it on TV- that’s when it definitely hit us! We all gathered round to watch as it aired. It was so surreal to see our little red canopy on screen! Also, just the buzz of being on a film set, watching how cleverly everything was done and getting to meet the amazing cast and crew was definitely an experience in itself.

Q: How does it feel to be involved in the filming process of a TV series like ‘Sherlock’?
A: It’s overwhelming and we really are honoured that they chose our café to be a part of it. Sherlock is so iconic and the BBC programme has undoubtedly been a huge success, so we really are grateful!

Q: How are the actors and crew during the filming? Nice, friendly, humorous?
A: Honestly the actors are all so lovely! Benedict and Martin were always so polite, hard workers of course! Una Stubbs who plays Mrs Hudson was ever so sweet and had a really lovely way about her. Everyone was just so humble and very considerate.

Q: Right now Speedy’s Cafe is very popular in the Sherlock fanbase, including international fans. Has there been any exciting experience with international fans who visited Speedy’s Cafe?
A: We had fans from Germany come dressed up as Sherlock and Watson in full costume!

Q: Who’s your favorite character in Sherlock aside from Sherlock Holmes himself?
A: We love them all, but Mrs Hudson is such a warm character so we all can’t help but want a landlady who’s so kind! Martin truly captures the essence of John and has that cool realism with a witty edge.  Moriarty played by the brilliant Andrew Scott is such an exciting villain, and of course, nobody can deny Irene’s beauty, charm and mystique. Overall they’re all brilliant and it’s a difficult pick!

Q: Do you have any fun story about a shooting day or a member of a cast or crew that you’ve seen?
A: During the time they filmed, the weather was quite nice, so in order for them to get the weather conditions and setting they needed, the crew made it snow and rain using special machines. It was incredible to see the street transform! Of course when they left, the whole road looked exactly as it did before…untouched!

Q: What was the most lovely or crazy thing that a fan of BBC Sherlock did at Speedy’s or at the door beside?
A: We had another group of Sherlock fans who sat outside Speedy’s in full costume eating their food and role-playing. You can imagine the confusion on our regular’s faces as they were coming to eat their usual. Everyone thought it was incredibly funny though! We also have fantastic fan art coming from all over the world in all forms (even cake). We find Sherlockians are so creative with such great imaginations.  To be surrounded by creativity along with that positive energy the show’s fans bring is really inspiring!

Q: How has every day life changed since Sherlock?
A: Of course the show has received great publicity and as a result has provided good exposure for Speedy’s. We get fans of the show taking pictures outside and asking to take pictures with staff, some people even ask the owner for his autograph! It’s amazing really! But we like to keep our core focus on the quality of our food. It’s the most important thing for us to stay true to what we would like to be known for…great food…being a part of Sherlock is a bonus!

Q: Are you planning to offer more informations on your website some time? History, menue, anecdotes of filming, recipes?
A: It was only the other day we were discussing this. More information will be added to our website. We’ve been extremely busy over the past year so it has been a slow progression but something we are going to arrange soon!

Q: What’s in the Sherlock Wrap and the Watson Wrap?
A: The Sherlock wrap contains chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese, crispy lettuce, peppers, red onion, cucumber and chilli sauce. The Watson Wrap consists of Roasted vegetables, Spinach, Tomatoes, Spring Onion, Brie Cheese and Sour Cream. We chose winning ingredients that we felt reflected the character traits of John and Sherlock.

Q: Aside from the Sherlock Wraps, what other items on your menu would you recommend visitors to try?
A: The regulars always opt for our tempting fry-up breakfasts. We also have tasty salads and really good burgers. If you visit, you should always be sure to check our Specials of the day, which range from Mexican Pasta to Roast Dinner. All our food is recommended and its good to switch it up sometimes, it just depends on your preference of food and mood at the time.

Q: Do you have any other branches? If yes, where?
A: No we don’t…Speedy’s in Euston Square is our one and only!

Q: Have you considered doing a competition where one can win one of your t-shirts? (I’d love one.)
A: We have indeed thought about doing competitions in the future, so keep an eye out!

Q: Have you had to employ a lot of additional staff since the Sherlock series started?
A: Speedy’s have pretty much kept the same staff since the show has started. We’re all one big family here. Our staff is so friendly and really contribute to the memorable experiences people have when visiting us. Whether you’re on holiday and come to visit Speedy’s because you’re a fan of the show, or a regular, our staff do their utmost best to make you feel special!

Q: Do you fear an end of the Sherlock series? (which hopefully won’t happen before season 20)
A: Although we’d love Sherlock to go on forever and ever through to season 100, we know that it may come to an end. It’s just nice to know that we’ve been a part of it all. The buzz always lives on through the fans of the show anyway! The love and support that we alone have received from Sherlockians has been incredible!

Q: Did you raise the prices since you’ve become so well-known thanks to Sherlock?
A: Prices have remained competitive since the show started. We’re still a café operating as normally as we can. We like to think of show as an extension of our personality. The main reason our regulars come back to us time and time again is our good quality food, our competitive pricing and our friendly staff.

Q: How many people work at Speedy’s Café?
A: There are 7 members of staff altogether, including our 2 chefs and the owner so it’s a tight knit team and everyone works really well together.


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