Gwyneth Paltrow Gives AD a First Look Inside Goop’s New Retail Space

Gwyneth Paltrow Gives AD a First Look Inside Goop’s New Retail Space

It may come as a surprise to some that Goop—Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand which launched in 2008—has yet to open a permanent store. After all, the company, which started as a weekly email newsletter and later expanded into a full-blown website, has expanded to e-commerce, announced the launch of a quarterly print publication with Condé Nast, established a wellness summit, and hosted eight pop-up shops in nine years. Still, Goop devotees were ready for a store of their own.

This month, Gwyneth Paltrow and her choice designers, Roman and Williams will make that vision a reality with the opening of Goop’s first permanent store, Goop Lab, in the Los Angeles’s Brentwood Country Mart. The actress and businesswoman has worked with Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch on a number of projects, including the designs of the Goop pop-up in New York City and her own New York City apartment.

The 1,300-square-foot space selected holds special meaning for Paltrow: “It’s fitting that Goop Lab is in the Brentwood Country Mart, which has been a part of my life since I was a child,” she tells Architectural Digest. “Goop Lab’s space even occupies part of the candy store I used to walk to.” Her familiarity with the space, combined with the fact that Standefer and Alesch have designed Paltrow’s personal residences, helped build the overall aesthetic Paltrow wanted to achieve for the store: A homey feel instead of a straightforward retail experience.

“It’s almost a state of mind,” says Standefer. “We really wanted to make it about the home.”

“We had this idea that it was a home. And it was a slightly rural home versus being an urban home,” says Standefer.

The space, which was conceptualized as Goop’s own Brentwood bungalow, is complete with a living room that customers are welcome to lounge in, an apothecary for trying on products, plus a greenhouse and a porch. The fully functioning kitchen features an ivory LaCanche range, cabinets painted a dusty gray by Portola Paint, and brass hardware; it will be used for cooking demonstrations and events. “We see the store as an extension of Goop HQ: You’ll see our food editor cooking in the kitchen at events or our beauty buyers trying out the in-store beauty services,” says Paltrow.

Despite having worked with Roman and Williams on numerous occasions (Standefer called the New York City pop-up shop a “dress rehearsal” for the permanent store), Paltrow didn’t just hand over the reigns to the two creatives. “I think this is an important dialogue when you talk about the process with a client who has a very sophisticated taste level and has a vision—and Gwyneth has both,” explains Standefer. “So I think it’s us trying to help her tell the narrative of the brand, and making a permanent space for Goop. We bring ideas to the table and we share concepts and share ideas and share details that bring the fundamental principles of the brand to life.”

 

Together, the group sat down and conceptualized a store and a customer experience. “The idea is also to be educated while you’re shopping,” says Standefer. “It’s not like you can’t have a multitiered experience. It’s more about ethos.”

A vintage stone-tiled porch serves as an entrance, which leads to a mudroom and greenhouse, where guests can purchase items from Goop’s signature gardening shop. Huge antique orangerie windows let the natural, California light flood in.

“In retail right now, experience is everything. So we designed this beautiful vanity where people can sit at and test the potions and lotions and makeup, the skin care, and learn about them, and an employee or consultant can pull up a chair can help you and teach you so there’s engagement in how we created it,” says Standefer. Goop Lab will also offer select in-store beauty services.

But the living room is the standout space of the store, serving as an area to display the company’s evolving collection of fashion offerings. “Gwyneth and I love David Wiseman. She went to dinner at the consulate of Spain and she saw one of his pieces and we put one of those in the space to almost create this poetic botanic story,” says Standefer of the chandelier (which can be ordered in the store). “Nature is a big stylistic reference for the Goop store for us.”

Goop Lab is also the first place to sell Roman and Williams Guild NY, and is debuting two items from its new Founding Collection of furniture and lighting: a bar cart called The Bachelor and a daybed called Espalda. “She’s such an important brand ambassador to the Roman and Williams Guild, and she asked if she could put two pieces of furniture for sale. They will premiere at Goop this week.” In addition to apparel, the living room area will also stock shoes and home decor items.

“The success of our pop-up installations, a franchise that we are going to continue on an even larger scale, is proof of concept for the overwhelming customer appetite for a permanent retail presence from Goop,” says Paltrow. Standefer agrees: “This idea that retail is dead . . . it’s nowhere near it. But it’s about doing it in a way thats really soulful, and thoughtful and truthful.”

In conjunction with the opening of Goop Lab, Goop and Christian Louboutin collaborated on a limited-edition capsule collection of four exclusive women’s styles and one baby shoe. The women’s line will launch exclusively on September 15 on goop.com. Paltrow and Louboutin will also cohost Goop Lab’s intimate opening party on September 13, and Goop Lab will open this month.

The Crown: Inside Royal Coffee’s Stunning New Oakland Coffee Complex

The Crown: Inside Royal Coffee’s Stunning New Oakland Coffee Complex

In a first look four years in the making, today we’re taking you inside The Crown, the stunning new coffee experience complex from Oakland green coffee importers Royal Coffee.

In a world of cookie cutter coffee architecture and same-same interior design, this is the rarest thing: a new coffee project that dares to look and feel singular. Awe inspiring, grandly scaled, and utterly bespoke, The Crown sprawls across thousands of square feet in a reimagined 1920s auto showroom in the heart of Oakland’s Broadway Auto Row. The size and scope of the project bring to mind other big new coffee endeavors of the last decade, from La Marzocco’s KEXP cafe to the very first Starbucks Reserve store in Seattle. It opens to the public on March 4th.

A combination public tasting room, interconnected network of multimedia equipped training spaces, a multi-unit roasting HQ, and second-floor offices, the space’s stats stagger the mind. Two separate architecture firms served on the project: Norman Sanchez Architecture (Architect of Record) and Studio Terpeluk (Design Architect). There are more than 15 coffee grinders alone at The Crown, plus seven espresso machines and counting, all by La Marzocco and Modbar. There are Perlick fridges, Curtis water towers, Marco Uber Fonts and Uber Boilers, custom glassware from local Oakland all-Japan-everything experts Umamimart, custom ceramics by Created Co., demitasse spoons by Loveramics, custom white oak service boards designed by Tom Connelly (in collaboration with Sandra Loofbourow, The Crown’s Tasting Room Director), and custom white American oak drip trays built-ins from Saint Anthony Industries protecting a fleet of Acaia scales.

The front tasting room is anchored by an enormous custom Chambers Art & Design multi-unit modular coffee bar that can be positioned in various forms: a wave, a straight line, or a Nike swoosh. Beneath the bar there are a bank of custom floor boxes containing electronics and water lines for the espresso machines. The tasting room will be open to the public, offering a range of flights and unique experiences—”stuff that’s not regularly offered to the public,” according to Richard Sandlin of Royal Coffee, who serves as The Crown’s general manager and has helped oversee the project over its four year incubation.

Public guests can walk in and experience an ever-changing battery of farmer-focused coffee flights and tasting experiences, or pick up a quick cup for $2, with a $.25 surcharge on to-go orders (proceeds benefitting Phat Beets). Behind the bar, a pixelated green tile wall designed by Studio Terpeluk “references the color palette and texture of unroasted coffee beans,” as per Sandlin, studded with wall-mounted coffee storage jars.

Past the tasting room, a unique Nana Wall System (imported from Germany and armed with tornado proof glass) provides a unique movable wall infrastructure, allowing The Crown to break their space up into a modular series of units: one large space, four contained spaces, or any combination in-between. A bank of six mobile cupping carts provide cupping space for up to 60 slurpers, all of it built custom in West Oakland by Shada Designs.

The presentation Room has an 133” projector screen. The adjoining brew lab has a 92” projector screen.

The roasting area of the space is fitted out with no fewer than four coffee roasting units, by Proaster, Diedrich, Probat, and Loring, respectively, with custom ventwork spiring up to the top of the space’s 27-foot-high ceiling. Across the bank of spaces, The Crown will offer Q grader certification and SCA courses, as well as tech training, equipment training, and roasting training.

There is no toll roasting. No comfy couches. No public WiFi, no food, and no whole bean sales at The Crown.

If, like me, you are gobsmacked by all of this, have no fear—we’ve been checking in on this project since it was announced in late 2015, and I’m still trying to process what this space means, what it’s supposed to be, and what an independent project of this scale and scope means right now for coffee. For their part, Royal envisions The Crown as nothing less than world-building—an attempt to shrink down the global footprint of coffee into something more accessible, collaborative, public, and open source. “We want to be a bridge to where coffees come from,” says Royal CEO Max Nicholas-Fulmer.

The company sees it as a fight against proprietary knowledge; that by creating a space where the coffee industry is invited to collaborate, they can appeal to a new generation of coffee professionals, especially roasters. They also see it as offering a resource for customers who can’t travel to origin, or even to a coffee competition. The presentation and events space is a major hub for that. “This is for producers to come present here and connect with customers who can’t go,” Nicholas-Fulmer told me during an advance tour of the space. Sometimes those producer presentations will happen digitally, and other times for in-person sessions and events between California coffee pros and coffee producers around the world. “We think this space can increase the knowledge flow between the two.”

“We’re building something that doesn’t fit into an easy category,” says Sandlin. “Is it a roaster? An education and events space? A cafe? Yes.”

“We want this to be a community space for all different kinds of communities,” Tasting Room Director Sandra Loofbourow adds. “Cheese, meat, marijuana, wine. A home for all things delicious.”

For Nicholas-Fulmer, an Oakland native stepping into a CEO roll at a company founded decades ago by his father and uncle, there is clearly a local point of pride invested deep into the project. “We’ve been conceptualizing The Crown for years and our priority was to execute the vision properly, which meant a high level of customization and allocating the time and resources to do so,” he tells Sprudge. “We look at The Crown fundamentally as an investment in our customers and producing partners. Having a venue for producers to showcase their coffees and an educational program which supports the growth and success of our customers is the foundation of Royal’s next 40 years in business.”

Members of the general public can get their first glimpse of The Crown on Monday, March 4th, and the Tasting Room will be open Monday thru Friday from 9am-6pm. A series of cupping events are scheduled following opening day, including a Costa Rica event on March 19th and standing weekly events on Tuesday and Thursdays. A complete listing of upcoming events is available via The Crown’s official website.