It’s been precisely one year since the doors of SOUQ first swung open between Raya Basangkasa and Sunset Road. On first site, it was a bit of a surprising pop up. Its high ceiling structure and New York warehouse feel sitting nestled amongst a knot of power lines and a few grimy shop fronts, overlooking little more than a swarm of traffic and a grubby fruit market.
But now that we know the SOUQ set-up so well – in fact some who don’t appreciate the importance of coffee might say we know it too well – its place on the Seminyak map makes perfect sense, and only enhances the inside’s charming equanimity.
The creative trio behind the SOUQ concept are husband and wife Sophie and Peter, and Sophie’s best friend Sigrid. Their careers span the realms of design to include industrials, interiors, and fashion, with Sophie and Peter even producing a line of loungewear crafted from self-sourced Mongolian cashmere, and a home wears line under the label KID.
After 8 years living in Shanghai, Sophie and Peter set their sights on Bali, tapping back into their Australian heritage to focus on the importance of locally grown, ethical and sustainable food. Colliding their appetite for soul food with their infatuation with the treasures they’d seen and collected across Asia, the SOUQ concept was born.
The menu consists mostly of dishes that Sophie created in her own kitchen for family and dinner parties. “Our potted salmon bagel with tarragon cream cheese and fennel is the peoples’ favourite,” she explains. It’s this sort of home style cooking that sees Bali’s expat community regularly calling on the SOUQ kitchen to satisfy their hunger.
As for the eclectic collection of fashion and home wares, Sophie explains there’s a method to the magic. “There’s very little we sell that we don’t love and covet for ourselves. But we are also very conscious of creating and sourcing a diversity of product, and we are always listening to our customers and the things they would like to see. Our goal for this year is to have SOUQ set up online. Thereafter we would love to expand SOUQ into other cities across Asia and hopefully into the USA.”
For now, us Bali folk remain ever so thankful we have SOUQ on our doorstep.
Photos via Kevala Ceramics and TripAdvisor