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Effortlessly elegant

Recipe for a GREAT SHOP

I’ve decided there are similarities between creating a GREAT RECIPE and creating a GREAT PLACE to shop.

By White Coco
November 22, 2023

A successful, delicious dish doesn’t just happen by chance. It takes months, maybe years of finding the right combination of ingredients. Some work together, some work against each other (in a good way), either can result in a knockout plate of food…each playing its part in creating something that’s going to be great to look at, enjoyed when tasted and consumed with enthusiasm. After all, it is the sound of mutterings & groans of ecstasy that we are aiming for when we serve supper to our friends, isn’t it? As the first fork disappears into their eager mouths, we want to see their eyes roll towards heaven and an involuntary moan escape from their throats as the seductive balance of flavours hit their tastebuds. Afterwards we want them to talk about it. Maybe even ask for the recipe but certainly we’d love them thinking they’d like to taste it again….

I’ve decided there are similarities between creating a GREAT RECIPE and creating a GREAT PLACE to shop.

·       There’s the MAIN INGREDIENT……at WHITE COCO this is the clothes. It’s what gives the dish (shop) its focus.

·       Then you have to choose what SECONDARY INGREDIENTS are going to lift that main focus to its full potential and create the WOW FACTOR. Our accessories, our gifts, our homeware. These compliment the main event. The recipe wouldn’t work with them alone…..equally it wouldn’t work as well if they were left out.

The remaining ingredients, flavours and seasoning come from the White Coco staff.....

·       THE FIRE & SPICE: the first taste sensation that hits you, that blows your mind. Maybe it’s the jalopeno chilli. The smiles that greet you when you walk into our shops, those girls who ooze confidence, who will embrace the challenge of finding you the elusive trousers which compliment every curve.

·       THE BINDING: these are the ingredients that bind and hold the whole show together. Maybe it’s the egg, the breadcrumbs, the structure without whom the place would crumble. We have a team of free-range, all-round “good eggs” who pull things together without drama. Without them, Rome would fall.

·       THE COOLERS: these are the cool, smoothing, soothing ingredients like yoghurt and milk and cream and butter. People who make the place flow seamlessly. Staff members who work quietly and seem to float a few centimetres above the shop floor as they move around. Girls who calmly pick up fallen jackets from the floor, gently help to pop that spaghetti strap back onto the shoulder of the mannequin, girls who offer a round of tea at exactly the right moment.

·       THE MIX:  the secret mix of both young and older ingredients. The value of the more mature members of shop floor staff who understand where that customer is coming from, what her insecurities are, the type of event she is going to, how she feels, how she wants to look. Then there are the young, terrifyingly-driven force of the younger members of our White Coco team, who have the energy of an ever-ready battery, a smile that doesn’t fade at 6pm and the speed to do get things done that leaves some of us clumsily splashing around in their wake. The balance is the key. I mean when did an aged-balsamic drizzled over a young tomato plucked fresh from the greenhouse, not taste sublime?

·       THE JE NE SAIS QUOI : the French element. Our je ne sais quoi at White Coco is provided by the sassy French girls who curate and run the fabulous shoe collection in our Kings Road store. There is nothing, NOTHING , like a soft spattering of french being spoken quietly in the corner of the shop that more evokes a sense of cosmopolitanism and sophistication. I mean, what is a salad without a pokey French Dressing?

·       THE GARNISH:  the way the food is placed on the plate, the presentation, what lies at the bottom of the platter, what takes prime position on the top. What's sprinkled on the surface, the colour of the plate used, the look – it’s what pulls you in, makes you want to dive through the door and immerse yourself in the clothes, try them, taste them. At White Coco we are obsessed with styling the shop to showcase the products in their best light and to create that ultimate shopping experience and point of difference between us and the rest of the High Street.

·       THE TECHNIQUES : the technical, behind the scenes stuff. You’re not going to produce the perfect bearnaise sauce without a bit of knowledge about the timing of whisking and temperatures and handling to avoid it splitting. Similarly, a retail website isn’t going to look good and work well without a bit of techy know-how, so we’ve a fab chap working his cashmere socks off behind the scenes, creating, plugging in, backing up, encrypting, optimizing, programming and debugging to ensure our website is both beautiful and user-friendly.

. ·       THE SECRET INGREDIENT : You know, not every recipe has one of these. Most shops do what they say on the tin. You walk in, you find what you went in for, you pay and you leave. We have a secret ingredient. It’s a pair of ears….several, actually. Customers comment again and again that we listen. We really listen. We continually assess that customer we are helping. Continually taste whether more salt is needed, more pepper……each customer is an individual with different needs and you’ll never get a standard response. We’re honest, we care and we love nothing more than hearing the words “Thank you so much for your help – I’ve never had a shopping experience quite like this. My confidence has soared. Thank you for listening”

·       THE TASTERS & END-USERS : the time taken to get to know the recipe's audience and who is going to taste (shop) this recipe is crucial. After all, you wouldn’t serve up a Mung Bean Curry to a meat-lover, would you? (Believe me, I’ve tried…won't be doing that again) . Similarly, we won’t be serving up ripped, cut-off denim shorts at White Coco.

·       Finally, of course there is the recipe writer herself, the person who put the whole thing together in the first place. Sometimes there's more than one. At White Coco, the recipe writers started off being three girls hatching an idea on a cliff top in Cornwall in 2012. Ideas flowed (as did the bottles of rosé, to be honest) and the idea of a recipe was born. People tasted the recipe and liked it but like a scrambled egg without the salmon, one writer felt there was the potential to make it taste oh so much better.

So, as the years rolled on, the recipe changed and two of the writers retired. And now there is just one writer. She's the person who tries and tests various versions , tweaking the balance of fire versus comfort, sweet versus bitter, how to accessorise the main ingredient without it taking over the show. She works out who our audience is, the recipe end-users, she gets inside their skin, understands them, buys with them in mind. She calculates the proportioning of ingredients (staff),considering their strengths, their weaknesses and what they individually and collectively bring to the table.


So there you have it. The recipe for a GREAT PLACE TO SHOP. A shop we hope will seduce you and you'll want to taste over and over again. And as with all good recipe writers, we’d welcome your feedback about what we might improve or change or tweak in either of our shops or on our website. Let us know if you'd like more chilli flakes added, less butter, more ingredients, less ingredients. Do that by dropping us a line at or call us on 0207 352 0791 or 01488 681241. We'd love to chat!

We hope that, as with all well-used recipes, your White Coco experiences and purchases help to write a story. Stories of family lunches in the garden, cosy suppers with friends where the food you cooked and the clothes you wore, were spot-on.



GET TO KNOW OUR INGREDIENTS – we’ll be interviewing our members of staff over the next few weeks so you can get to know them! They’ll be showing you their favourite White Coco outfits and divulging a few secrets…you'll read it here on our Blog Page.