Hupfer’s Easy Rider Solves Storage Challenges At Café Spice Namasté

When Cyrus Todiwala moved his iconic Café Spice Namasté to the London Docklands in 2022, he knew that the change would bring both benefits and challenges after 25 years of trading in Whitechapel. 

Café Spice Namasté now offers capacity for 60 diners across two floors in a 2,500 sqm restaurant. However, the key to the operation lies in a separate storage facility in an adjacent unit, kitted out with the innovative Easy Rider system. 

The new venue provides a light-filled arena for Cyrus’s vibrant, neighbourhood restaurant and cooking academy at the Royal Albert Wharf, overlooking the Thames with views of the Canary Wharf skyline and London City Airport. 

However, it is a smaller site than the old location, which had built a cult following over more than two decades. With bulk ingredients to manage, not to mention storing equipment and accessories to cater for 150 people off-site, in addition to the restaurant, Cyrus knew that storage space in particular could be a challenge – until he was introduced to the Hupfer Easy Rider racking system. 

Cyrus Todiwala said: “Storage is one of the biggest challenges in a daily kitchen routine. It’s always a challenge to keep things fresh, properly stored and well stocked whilst making sure everything is visible to us.

Cyrus initially put all his existing racks in the middle of the room, but it was cramped with ingredients inaccessible or difficult to find. 

Hupfer’s Easy Rider provided the solution.

Café Spice Namasté has installed a total of 12 racking units across dry store and cold store areas, which is made possible thanks to non-corrosive Easy Rider fixings and shelving from the Hupfer Norm range. Installation was completed in under five hours with no need to drill holes in the floor and no need for special tooling. The units join together with a clamp for safety, which can be easily unlocked when required. 

With Easy Rider, shelves are positioned on traversable rails, which saves space because there is no need for walkways as users slide the shelving for easy access. At Café Spice Namasté, the system saves at least one third of the space that would be required for fixed shelving.

“With Hupfer’s Easy Rider system, I can store almost a ton of food including 500kg of rice, plus onions, flour and sugar on one sturdy shelving unit and move it with just one finger. And, I know it’s not going to break. 

Todiwala adds: “It gives us so much flexibility. The shelving can be taken out for cleaning and easily slides back in, which is not always possible with fixed shelving. We even moved the whole system by four feet because we wanted to put freezers along the wall. And when it’s all pushed back, it gives a real open space feel in the storage areas.”

Hupfer makes work flow

Todiwala has used Hupfer equipment since he first opened in London in 1995. He adds: “I was told back then if you want to buy the best, you buy Hupfer. And it’s true. When I first looked at the product, I wasn’t sure it would be as strong as the racking I was used to, until my first storeroom was converted to Hupfer. 

“Then I realised how practical it is. It’s German-built, so practicality comes first – then design, aesthetics, and everything else. It’s not the cheapest, but you’re paying for quality that will last.

A one-stop solution for kitchen logistics

With a long history of German manufacturing excellence, Hupfer’s product range for restaurants goes beyond shelving and racking systems. The company also offers food transport, regeneration, holding, presentation and storage solutions that drive efficiency across every catering process. All built with energy efficiency in mind.

Todiwala adds: “I have a Hupfer trolley too and it’s the best trolley I’ve ever had. The movement of the trolley, the way the wheels turn, the silent rolling of the castors – it’s out of this world. It makes you appreciate good engineering, and I would always recommend Hupfer’s products for their build quality.”

Marc Sumner, sales and marketing director for Hupfer UK, said: “Our product range has been built to solve common issues in professional kitchens and catering operations. We deliver a wide range of solutions that increase productivity, boost efficiency and improve workflows. More than that, they’re built to last, as Cyrus has already discovered in using our shelving systems for the last 25 years.”

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