Vocation & Co.

Last Friday we all headed to the opening of ‘Vocation & Co.’ – a new bar and kitchen in Vocation brewery’s home town of Hebden Bridge. Having worked with Vocation since the beginning, John and the team asked us to help bring the new venture to life leading on positioning, naming and design, with the added challenge of translating the brand into a physical space and experience.

In true Vocation style, the brief was simple. The focus, first and foremost, had to be the beer. As well as their own range of core ales and lagers, Vocation also wanted to host guest beers from breweries that they admire and collaborate with. It was an opportunity to do beer their way, curating a list of twenty beers and sharing it on a one-to-one basis with friends and followers. In the spirit of collaboration, we came up with the name ‘Vocation & Co.’, choosing to establish the bar in its own right – but still undeniably Vocation.

We took a casual but considered approach, keeping things simple and centralising focus on the bar and all twenty of its wall mounted taps. The aesthetic is understated but detailed in its execution – influenced by our love of Scandinavian design. Think crisp white walls, natural oak furnishings and clean lines offset by feature accents in Vocation’s core black brand colour. From the light fixtures to the staff aprons, every element was thoroughly thought through and expertly crafted using a limited selection of well-considered materials. We even curated the playlist for the opening night.

Form and function were key considerations. For us, it was important to look at the space available and how best to maximise the ambience in of each of the three areas of the bar. The main bar feels light and airy, while the passage to right provides a more intimate social setting with cork clad booths and an end room, painted all black, for group entertaining. And of course with it being in Hebden Bridge, we thought we should probably make it flood proof, choosing a resin floor at lower level and a wooden clad, steel bar.

Vocation & Co., Hebden Bridge, sets a template for what is hopefully to come across more locations in the North. For now, however, you’ll find us hanging at the bar sampling some tasty taco treats from their newly installed Mexican style kitchen – the perfect partner to the perfect pint.

John Hickling, MD at Vocation Brewery, said, “It’s so important as we grow that everything is considered in the right way. Robot Food just get it and the reaction from our customers has been amazing. It’s a really exciting time for us and we’re looking forward to seeing how the brand progresses.

Martin Widdowfield, Creative Director at Robot Food, said, “I’m a big fan of the Scandi aesthetic and love the physicality that comes with furniture and interior design. It’s one thing seeing your design on shelf, but to walk into a space that you’ve designed is a real buzz.”