In our Brand Story Hero series, we shine a regular spotlight on different brands that we think tell their story well. Here we take a look at Lil Portie Caribbean Kitchen, a pop-up restaurant based in Dublin.
Brand: Lil Portie Carribbean Kitchen
Product: Caribbean Food with a Latin twist
Founder: Nick Reynolds
Year Founded: 2018
Mission: To bring the flavours of Port Antonio, Jamaica, to the people of Ireland through pop-ups across Dublin.
Lil Portie Caribbean Kitchen is a new pop-up restaurant which has taken Dublin by storm in the few short months it has been operational. It’s foundations are firmly planted within the West Indies with influences branching off far and wide, including the likes of Spain, China, Syria, Germany and even Ireland.
Nick Reynolds, the man behind the mission, aims to highlight the cultural melting pot which is West Indies. He does this through his cooking and delivering a traditional ‘family’ atmosphere throughout his restaurant. Using his pop-up, he laments the idea of ‘togetherness’ at the dinner table.
Nick explains in previous interviews that his love for Jamaican cuisine comes from his grandmother who originally comes from Jamaica. This, plus an extended stay in Argentina where he ran communal dining experiences and events, eventually built the foundations for the Lil Portie brand today.
— Lil Portie Caribbean Kitchen (@lil_portie) May 9, 2018
Their storytelling lessons
Lesson #1: Share your story simply
The story behind Lil Portie is simple, but effective. There are no extravagant frills or hyped up details. All is explained in a few short lines but within those lines there is a sense of place which sets the tone of the brand. Embedded within the few paragraphs presented on their website is a story which digs deep into the historical and cultural significance of immigrants who found shelter in the West Indies many years ago.
There are no Hollywood special effects, no in-your-face campaigns. It’s a brand with a good story which tells itself and needs no added extravagance.
Lesson #2: New information which relates to the brand
Did you know that there once was Irish people residing in the West Indies? Well neither did we!
Montserrat is a prime example of this. During Cromwell’s conquest of Ireland, many people from places such as Cork were sent to Montserrat. This influence of Irish culture led to Montserrat later becoming known as the ‘Emerald Isle of the Caribbean’. It is even said that some of the locals who live on the island are known to have a slight Cork-twang to their accent!
This information was what hooked us here at All Good Tales to the Lil Portie brand, as it was shared on their social channels. It was a story none of us had heard before but could easily latch on to. This is an effective storytelling weapon for brands as you’re providing a hook for new customers to attach themselves to before they can get into the nitty-gritty of your business.
Lesson #3: Put people at the heart of what you do
On the surface, Lil Portie can look like any other pop-up food brand. But once you look beyond their colourful displays and warming imagery, their is a wonderful sense of personality behind their set-up. Lil Portie’s wonderful palette of flavours comes from recipes inspired by the founder’s grandmother, who originally hails from the West Indies.
The cuisine also reflects the region’s history of immigration. It puts those who found their new home within the West Indies all those years ago, at the heart of their brand story. A story needs characters. Characters shape the narrative of your story in a way which can help create meaningful connections with your audience. This is the basis for brand storytelling and explains why it is so effective at engaging your customer base.
— Lil Portie Caribbean Kitchen (@lil_portie) June 17, 2018
Their storytelling tools
#1 Visual Storytelling
When you dine at Lil Portie’s you are surrounded by homely settings, covered in candles and fairy lights and greeted with a warm, welcoming atmosphere. The experience aims to reflect the traditional value of community. Stories should be exchanged with good people, accompanied by even better food. This is an aesthetic which works well for Lil Portie and helps its story in a way which words can’t achieve on their own. It’s a sensory experience which goes beyond what you taste. Even the menus, emblazoned with traditional Caribbean dialect and a noticeable yellow colour scheme, help convey this.
— Lil Portie Caribbean Kitchen (@lil_portie) June 4, 2018
#2 Social Media
Social media should be in every brand’s wheelhouse. It’s one of the most common ways of engaging with your audience and potentially reaching out to new business. Lil Portie are no stranger to social media and is the channel through which we discovered it. Telling a story doesn’t have to mean writing a feature-length script or a novel…it can all be done in 280 characters!
Platforms like Twitter and Facebook are used by the Lil Portie brand to help promote future dates for their pop-ups and to tell their start-up story as a homegrown business. This helps to spread the great cultural aspects of Jamaica which is present on their plates!
All of these traits are what made Lil Portie’s Caribbean Kitchen stand out amongst others, which is important for such a competitive industry. Their gripping story makes the experience feel more personal than your standard, run-of-the-mill pop-up restaurant which tend to saturate the sector. Stories such as this one are the reason why All Good Tales exists today. Great stories always get more and need to be told far and wide.
Here at All Good Tales, we believe that every brand has a story worth telling. Not yet sure how to tell yours? We’d love to help you out with a free consultation. You can call Gaye on (01) 254 1845 to organise yours today. We also run courses that give you practical information on connecting with customers. For more information or to book your place, click here.