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Ibiza foodies

Nomadic creativity

For Santa Gertrudis boutique and café Numero 74 L’Atelier, the new normality means flexibility, creativity and quality, with the brand now offering exciting mobile picnic and workshop experiences.

For Tara Sfez, founder of Santa Gertrudis concept store and café Numero 74 L’Atelier, the recent lockdown followed by the implementation of new health and safety restrictions, provided her with the inspiration to take her already successful concept to the next level. Today, she and her creative team can bring the entire brand experience directly to your door, satisfying the need for safety, security, privacy and fun all at once.

Photos: Maria Santos, Linda Wit & Mariana Pereira

What happens when a naturally nomadic, creative entrepreneur is forced into isolation for months? She finds ways to adapt her already unique Ibiza project to the ever-changing needs of the new normality, thus opening up a whole new world of possibilities. Rather than seeing the limitations imposed on cafés and stores due to the crisis as a negative, Tara Sfez of Numero 74 L’Atelier dug deep into the recesses of her mind in a way to find ways to transform her offerings to her (and especially her customer’s) advantage. As of mid-July, the flagship Numero 74 L’Atelier boutique and café in Santa Gertrudis has once again re-opened, albeit in a streamlined way, but with the added bonus that the team can now bring the fun, magic and flavours of the brand directly to your door.

Whether you’re staying in a villa, a hotel, or are simply living here in your own home in Ibiza, Tara has developed a variety of concepts – based on all the previous concepts found at Numero 74 L’Atelier – that can be experienced in the privacy of your own dwelling, or can be taken with you wherever you choose to go in Ibiza – be it a beach, on a boat or into the campo. “My wish with Numero 74 L’Atelier has always been that it is about experiences,” says Tara. “I see it as a creative laboratory, summing up all of the activities I’ve been involved in for the past 30 years – the first being a special events company, then a boutique, then the brand, Numero 74. To mix all this together, to create experiences for people in Ibiza – this is really what I’ve always wanted.”

The first offering outside of the store is based around cuisine; a selection of gourmet picnic baskets filled to the brim with tasty and delicious options tailored to suit your tastes. With Tara’s exquisite eye for style, it’s clear from the outset that this is not your average beach picnic catering – as she explains, it’s the entire experience. Clients receive a retro-style, handmade picnic basket (available in two sizes, for two or four people) with leather handles, with cool box lining for ultimate freshness, packed full of everything you need to create the perfect outdoor meal. Absolutely everything is environmentally conscious – from the glass containers the food is stored in to the cups and cutlery – is either 100% recyclable, or alternatively, is returned to Numero 74 L’Atelier along with the basket after your day out. A stylish woven table covering is also included, to spread over the sand, the ground or the table, depending on your preferred place of dining.

As for the food itself? Tara likes to describe it as cuisine that makes people happy. “You can order very healthy food, but we also offer things that are more traditional and hearty – like grandmother’s recipes – and dishes inspired from our travels around the world,” she says. “We use local and organic where possible, but we also know we have to offer dishes for all ages – when you order a picnic basket and you want the whole family to be happy, well… we just know from experience that for kids, you need chicken nuggets!” There area variety of customisable themes available, and must be ordered a day in advance to allow for the freshest produce and ingredients possible. Within your Numero 74 L’Atelier basket are an array of salads, dips, homemade breads, veggies, sweet and spiced nuts and dried fruits suited to the theme, plus of course, something sweet for dessert.

In its debut season, Numero 74 L’Atelier was known for its family-friendly, creative workshops. Due to new health and safety protocols, Tara quickly realise that families, or groups of friends holidaying together, may feel more comfortable participating in workshops in their own home, without needing to wear a mask – et voilà! Another mobile concept – or as Tara prefers to refer to it, nomadic – was born. Pottery wheels, weaving looms, watercolour/canvas painting classes, cooking classes, book binding, beach bag making – it all comes direct to your villa or home. Tara says the private workshops and activities can be tailored to suit all youngsters, teens and adults and the Numero 74 L’Atelier team can chat with you directly to work out the best type of activities to customise an approach for your group and its age ranges. For those who want to go a step further, Tara has also kitted out two vintage camper vans – ‘Giulia’, a beautiful dusky pink, and ‘Luca’, a lovely teal blue – that can be booked to deliver truly unforgettable events.

The sense of nostalgia here is like a glamorous version of camping with the family. The Numero 74 L’Atelier team arrive and style whatever kind of setting you’d like to lounge around in – be it picnic-style in your garden with cushions, or an outdoor living room complete with plush sofas and rattan chairs, or charming low wrought iron tables that work equally as well for adults and kids. You can order the picnic baskets, or alternatively, family-style portions of some of the restaurant’s best à la carte dishes – think quiche, tomato tarts, pasta salads and more – for after your workshops and activities, and if you really want to make a whole day of it, each van has a professional pull-down cinema screen to project your favourite movies onto as the sun goes down. For special events or birthdays, Tara has also devised a series of party themes (which again, can work equally as well for grown-ups as children), including fairies, explorers, seaworld, birds and artists. The themes come to life through creative styling, and even birthday cakes can be added in keeping with the theme.

Last but absolutely never least is the store itself – Numero 74 L’Atelier in Santa Gertrudis remains the beating heart of Tara’s entire operation. For those who remember the store and café in its debut season, you will notice some small changes – for example, the former buffet style lunches and breakfasts are now served à la carte (buffets are prohibited due to health and safety regulations), and also available to take away, served up in 100% recyclable materials if you’re on the go, as so many people in Ibiza are. Fortunately, the garden café space has always been expansive, which meant adapting to social distancing between tables has been no problem, and the layout of the boho chic space almost offers each and every customer their own private ‘VIP’ setting.

The boutique section of Numero 74 L’Atelier itself remains open to those seeking some stylish retail therapy while on holiday in Ibiza, and this year Tara is using the Ibiza flagship store as a place to launch new prototypes designed by the famed organic label. New for 2020 is a collection of thin, organic gauze cotton designs, ranging from dresses and pants to tops and more – if it proves popular with her core Ibiza clientele, the collection will be then sent into production for the rest of the world. Absolutely everything – be it the safe experiences in your own home, to the delicious cuisine created in the kitchen, or the organic cotton clothing and toys ethically made in Thailand – coming out of Numero 74 L’Atelier has been made from the heart, and with this in mind, Tara also plans to introduce new sale days in the store, for Ibiza families who love the brand but may not find the price points accessible in these times of crisis  – keep your eye on the brand’s social media accounts for more details. When it comes to Numero 74 L’Atelier, the new normality means flexibility, creativity and as always quality – for Tara, designing an experience that makes her customers happy is always at the core of her inspiration.