by Francesca Young
As if Monmouth coffee, JoJo Maman and Fara Kids weren’t enough, there’s now another good reason to visit Turnham Green Terrace, a Chiswick street famous locally for its appealing mix of independent shops.
“It’s got a butcher’s shop, grocer’s and fishmonger’s,” says Matthew Wheeler, the entrepreneur behind the street’s newest addition, Cassius & Coco. “There’s a real ‘village high street’ feel to the road.”
His smoky blue shop stands out from the delicious delis and fancy chocolatiers for its eclectic mix of Basque bath towels and children’s cacti brooches. In this carefully curated lifestyle store, products are chosen because of where they come from, their origin being just as important as aesthetic appeal.
Cassius & Coco started out as a stall at Portobello Market, set up with help from the Prince’s Trust. After 18 years working in fashion, Matthew sold his business to pursue his interest in interiors. “The ethical side is really important to us,” he explains. To this end you’ll find pretty pink-striped fair-trade Alibaba laundry baskets, hand-woven in Africa, next to a Moon & Sons mohair throw, made in a Yorkshire woollen mill. Choose a stylish earthenware bowl and you’ll discover it’s been handmade in India, giving employment to people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
What really appeals is the styling. Bright yellow rugs, concrete plant pots, books on city breaks to Copenhagen and rainbow-coloured pencils are all set against a white background, like an art gallery.
Recently the business got a boost when Matthew was chosen for a mentoring session with Richard Reed, founder of Innocent drinks. They spent three days filming and commuters at Liverpool Street saw Cassius & Coco up in lights on screens across the station. Giving back, the shop partners with charity Salusbury World to offer work experience for young people.
More than just a shop, Cassius & Coco runs events that tie in with the brand, so you can make your own terrarium or sign up for flower-arranging workshops. Look out for announcements on drawing classes, coming soon to the Chiswick shop. See their Instagram feed—which is packed with design inspiration—for the latest updates.
Cassius & Coco’s products are available on their website, cassiusandcoco.com. The first shop opened in Crouch End (on 31 Park Road, N8 8TE) in 2015; the Chiswick one is on 39 Turnham Green Terrace, W4 1RG. Instagram: instagram.com/cassius_coco