Roxanna at the hatch of Perky Blenders coffeeshop


Coffee and community puts Perky Blenders x Goodvibes on the map

Everything about Perky Blenders x Goodvibes is upbeat and friendly, from the name and the decor all the way to its owner, Roxanna Lyssa Allardyce.

On the day of our visit she greets us behind the brightly-lit counter underneath a sign reading “Espressoway”, asking, of course, would we like a coffee? Located at the entrance of Expressway, facing the water of Royal Victoria Dock, this newcomer to the area has only been open since June but has already become a customer favourite.

Because this isn’t just about coffee. Roxanna wants her venue to be part of the fabric of the Royal Docks, and she’s already started running events in and around Expressway. “It’s really about being part of the community – how can we enhance it? How can we bring people together who perhaps were a bit disjointed before?” This is what Goodvibes is about, she explains; she’s a proud franchisee of the East London mini-chain Perky Blenders, but there’s more to this than just coffee. “I want to work with the local community and endorse the people who’re already here,” she says.

It’s about being part of the community – how can we enhance it? How can we bring people together?

Roxanna Lyssa Allardyce, Perky Blenders x Goodvibes

First up are the ‘stretch and release’ exercise classes every Tuesday, and there will be a jewellery-making course this autumn, working with a local maker who uses moonstone. After starting wakeboarding with Wake Up Docklands, Roxanna has also organised dedicated sessions there for everyone working in Expressway. “I’m so proud of myself for overcoming my fear,” she laughs, “wakeboarding is one of the best things I've ever done!”

Roxanna outside Perky Blenders

From office workers to area locals

Roxanna originally meant to open her cafe in March, but lockdown meant she had to re-think her business before launching in June. “I really had to adapt. Expressway normally has about 1,200 users, but they’re still not back at full capacity. I was expecting to be catering primarily for the offices, but with people working from home, most [customers] are actually the community in and around the Royal Victoria Dock,” she says.

As people were furloughed, or working out of home offices, they took more walks around the Royal Docks. This brought a whole new audience for the coffee shop. “Now I’m growing a really great customer base of regular people who come in to get their coffee, enjoy the food, and the good vibes!”

I'm not changing anything about their coffee because it's perfect.

Roxanna Lyssa Allardyce, Perky Blenders x Goodvibes

Before opening her own cafe, Roxanna was a barista at Perky Blenders, the small London roastery operating across Waltham Forest with a fairtrade provenance and carefully-selected coffee beans. “The opportunity to open up in the Royal Docks came along in November last year. I knew the Perky Blenders brand well and they trusted me to take their specialty coffee into Newham,” she says, “I'm not changing anything about their coffee because it's perfect.” She’s just as meticulous when she sources other products for the shop, taste-testing peanut butters, jams and chocolates, and loaves from The Bread Station in East London.

With this commitment to quality, authenticity and connection, it’s no wonder Perky Blenders x Goodvibes has already become such a natural part of the community. Roxanna describes the Royal Docks as a place where people are friendly and open. “You don’t feel disturbed by the clutter and noise of London, but you still have the beautiful city as your backdrop. It feels like a place of growth,” she says. “It’s going to be so interesting to be part of the community, and see where it goes.”

Stretch & Release classes run at Perky Blenders x Goodvibes on Tuesdays at 5pm. Keep up with future events via their Instagram.

Perky blenders black coffee Latte coffee on counter