Out in the Pacific Northwest, there are some of our bib aprons working very hard for the premier cocktail company in Portland, Public Provisions.
Founded by Melaney Schmidt and Malia Myers, Public Provisions provide beautiful and culinary-driven cocktails for special events. Their menus are driven by the seasons and integrate ingredients that highlight the distinct flavours of this part of the world.
But why choose aprons from 5,000 miles away?
"We love these aprons because their look is striking but also understated and professional. When the guests and clients we serve notice the apron, we know they're taking note of all of our intentional details including our choice in workwear. The aprons are durable and well-constructed, perfectly holding up to the demands of bartending whether we're inside serving a seated dinner of 60 or outside in a forest, serving a wedding party of 300.
"When working, we are usually building stunning, complex cocktails that require many steps to complete, and we are repeatedly reaching for tools and ingredients within a small 3 foot radius. This type of dance behind a bar requires us to be able to move swiftly. The construction of the apron is conducive to that mobility while also maintaining its constructed integrity, a perfect balance for our needs. That said, our choice in apron hardly ever goes unnoticed and we always enthusiastically refer inquisitors to Labour and Wait!"
Follow Public Provisions on Instagram: @publicprovisions
117 Newington Green Road
London, N1 4QY
Hoxton Street Monster Supplies is a non-profit organisation, where proceeds are donated to the 'Ministry of Stories', a writing and mentoring charity based in East London for those aged between eight and 18. Through a variety of programmes, the Ministry of Stories help children find and realise their creative potential.
This shop is strictly for monsters, so visits by humans can be risky business. There's an invisible cat that could trip you up, and various options of tinned fear stacked frightfully high. Such names as Zadie Smith and Charlie Higson helped select some of the finest tinned fear you'll find on the market.
To avoid any mishaps and keep customers safe, there are helpful staff on hand, wearing our bib aprons to keep them clean, should there be any unfortunate accidents.
On the aprons, Monster Supplies say that "when we opened we looked around for a stylish and sturdy shopkeeper apron that could handle occasional spillages, for example when customers paid by human sacrifice, and could clean up easily. The council eventually cracked down on alternative payment methods and we've found tidier ways to serve up AB and Type O+ that don't lead to as many mishaps, but we have kept the aprons because we love them. Please consider making these in XXXXXXXXXL as our monster customers would love to purchase!"
All photographs by David Rowswell
Melody Park is a fine artist and children's book illustrator based in Seoul, South Korea, who is no stranger to our bib apron...
"If I remember right, I bought the apron in the Labour and Wait London shop in 2013. At that time I did all the long legwork of buying the perfect working clothes for me, and I found it in Shoreditch Labour and Wait shop. When I found the shop and the green tiles, I felt intuitively I could buy something here.
"After 2013, my studio location has moved from Kingston, Glasgow, Nürnberg and to Seoul now. I have always worn the apron in the studio, whichever the city. The apron is perfectly made with width, depth and height so I can wear it tightly, with a good feeling. This is very important, because when I paint I move rapidly and energetically. The apron is a very suitable working clothes for me as a painter."
Established in 2005 by Oliver Shute, The Wild Fork is an event bar and kitchen based in rural West Berkshire.
"We specialise in creative, contemporary food and providing a bespoke service for all occasions in locations across the United Kingdom, from treasured Grade 1 listed buildings to historic castles, garden marquee weddings, boardrooms, shoot lodges and pop-up restaurants."
"These hard-working brown canvas aprons, a Labour and Wait classic, have become an essential work wear favourite at The Wild Fork. Desirable but practical, robust and comfortable, we haven’t found a better performing apron for our waiting staff and bartenders. Our head chef has also claimed one of his own for the kitchen. And the classic, vintage style always catches the eyes of our guests. Who knew wearing an apron could give so much pleasure! They’ll be out in force at our Waterfront Enclosure during Henley Royal Regatta this summer."
Follow The Wild Fork's food stories on Instagram: @thewildfork01
Images by Jamie Dunn Photography
Darcy's Kaffe is a recently opened coffee shop in Copenhagen, Denmark.
"I started back in November, doing pop ups and events and then moving into a basement in Nørrebro just as the weather got too cold. My friend Jacques, who started Ofr Copenhagen (the original shop is in Paris) moved in with me in December with his beautiful selection of books, magazines and art and together we are slowly developing something special."
"My girlfriend, Scarlett, who is an architect and has her studio based in a room at the back of the shop, bought me my Labour and Wait apron as a congratulation/good luck present for opening my own place, and I have worn it with pride every day since (literally - I’m open every day at the moment!) I find the pockets useful for pens, matches, bits of coffee kit and receipts, and the size is perfect for a busy day making drinks and food."
"I look forward to many more days behind my espresso machine and seeing how the apron ages over time."
We look forward to seeing it, too!
Follow Darcy's Kaffe on Instagram: @darcyskaffe
Follow Jack and the project on instagram: @lordlowe
General Store is a neighbourhood grocery shop in Peckham, South London, who sell cheese, bread, coffee, wine, beer, seasonal fruit and vegetables, and lots of store cupboard essentials.
Image from Monocle Magazine, 2013
They are truly a shop after our own heart here at Labour and Wait, sharing not just aesthetic cues, but attitudinal ones too; they work with producers and suppliers who focus on the quality, integrity and provenance of their produce.
We're also very pleased to say that not only are our aprons worn at General Store, but they sell them, too!
Follow General Store on Instagram @general_store
172 Bellenden Road,
Peckham, SE15 1BW
Monmouth Coffee Company started roasting and retailing coffee from 27 Monmouth Street, Covent Garden, in 1978. For thirty years they roasted their coffee in their basement (a production location we’re all too familiar with here at Labour and Wait!) but since 2007 they have larger facilities in Bermondsey to accommodate production for their now two shops, the other being at 2 Park Street, next to Borough Market.
Photograph by Trent McMinn
Sourcing and roasting coffee from single farms, estates and cooperatives is important to Monmouth Coffee, and allows them to establish strong relationships with the growers and exporters to ensure quality and fairness.
Photograph by Trent McMinn
Monmouth were the first adopters of the Labour and Wait apron, outside of our own shop. Many customers came to us after the staff at Monmouth had kindly told them where the aprons were from. As Monmouth Coffee Company are leaders in their field, this is an association of which we are very proud. In the early days, the aprons weren’t even labelled, so we relied totally on word of mouth recommendations like this!
Monmouth Coffee Company
27 Monmouth Street,
London, WC2H 9EU
Labour and Wait on Cheshire Street, 2002
Our canvas aprons have become a Labour and Wait classic. We made the prototypes ourselves, as staff uniform, in the basement of our original shop on Cheshire Street in 2000. Soon customers were wanting to buy them, so we found a factory in the UK and started production.
A classic Cheshire Street sight, 2005
Cheshire Street, 2006
Our aprons were inspired by traditional shop coats worn in ironmongers and warehouses, the likes of which ceased being produced many years ago. Since inception our aprons have been often imitated but never quite equalled. They are made from robust and hardwearing cotton duck fabric, with brass eyelets and herringbone tape ties.
Redchurch Street 2016, by Alun Calender
As standard, we only offer our aprons in one colour; a stoic, trusty brown. However, over the years we have partnered with others to give a different spin on our aprons. In 2014 we worked with Monocle magazine to produce a special limited run of dark olive aprons with ecru tape and gunmetal eyelets; and in 2017 we jointly produced a denim apron with Blackhorse Lane Ateliers in Walthamstow, which referenced jeans heritage by using copper hardware instead of brass.
Limited edition Monocle apron, 2014
The Tokyo shop team, extolling the virtues of our aprons! 2017
From these humble beginnings, we now supply the classic brown apron to restaurants, coffee shops, artists and craftspeople worldwide. To celebrate our aprons and their users, throughout 2019 we will be featuring a variety of apron wearers in our series 'Covered'.
Redchurch Street, 2010