Growing ‘Norridge’ – our hygge inspired pop-up business
BA (Hons) Design for Publishing students Rowan and Liv set up Norridge Porridge, a stylish pop-up inspired by hygge. The best friends celebrate slow living and seasonal eating, supported by striking imagery and innovative design and marketing to run successful occasional eateries.
They brought their dreams of opening a porridge cafe to life through a pop-up in 2017, and since then have seen their creative business take flight, including wellbeing weekends, workshops and collaborations with other Norwich based businesses to have regular pop-ups.
Hear from Rowan and Liv all about how they came to run their creative business whilst studying for their degrees.
How we got started
We’re Rowan and Liv, two Design for Publishing students at NUA. Our first ever conversation was about porridge, but back then we had no idea that a year later we would set up our own pop-up porridge café.
During our second year at NUA, we were sitting in one of our favourite independent coffee shops in the city, chattering away about what it would be like to open our own café or restaurant. We quickly realised that as with many things, our ideas were perfectly in line, and here, Norridge was born.
What Norridge is all about
A culmination of all the things we love, Norridge allows us to explore our creativity in all its forms. Primarily, we run regular pop-ups, in which we hire a space for a weekend and set up a temporary café, serving seasonally inspired porridge, lunches and baked treats.
We have also run food styling and photography workshops, a yoga and meditation evening in collaboration with local practitioners, and most recently we were hired to cater a wellbeing day retreat. We also do all of our own branding, photography and design work (including our recipe zines and screen-printed tote bags), and have worked on a few branding projects with other Norwich-based independent businesses.
How our studies support Norridge
Our studies at NUA and Norridge very much feed into each other. What we learn on our course provides us with the skills and knowledge to refine and develop the work we do for Norridge, while working on Norridge allows us to explore our creativity in a broader sense, which in turn gets our ideas flowing and helps us be more experimental with our university projects. The support we have received from NUA has also been utterly invaluable.
"Our tutors and the SU have been supportive from the start, and the information available through the Ideas Factory has been a huge help."
Rowan and Liv
What is next for Norridge
As we come to the end of our final year at NUA we are of course thinking about what’s next for Norridge. We hope to work some festivals and do more events over the summer, and we hope that before long we will find a more permanent space in the city so we can do this all the time!
Starting a small business has been a huge learning curve, and we’re amazed at how much it has changed and developed. It takes a lot of work to manage a business alongside university, but when you love what you’re doing this much, somehow the late nights editing photos, writing recipes or cutting out hundreds of stickers (we have now invested in a stamp) all seem totally worth it.
It has already been such an adventure, and we cannot suggest strongly enough that anyone with a business idea should just go for it. The biggest step is getting started and getting your idea out there; after that, you’d be surprised how quickly you get into the groove of it all.