Furniture maker Herb Palmer has been working with Homeslice Pizza on their newest restaurant, creating a glorious feast of burnt Douglas fir and steel. Their partnership began through the synergy of mutual homelands and friendships. Herb explains, ‘I first met Ry Jessup, who started Homeslice, in 2015 or 2016. He is another Kiwi and when you come from that tiny island the whole ‘six degrees of separation’ theory can be whittled down to about two degrees.’
After graduating from The Cass, Herb started a furniture design business with Uni friend Thom Wilson, working from Blackhorse Workshop, it was at this time that he reconnected with Ry. ‘A few weeks after meeting him, Ry got in touch about getting me to make a new table base for their table that was falling apart. I did that in an evening and from there more work started trickling in.‘
Clearly happy customers, Herb started making birch plywood pizza boards then oak tables, working up to a copper bar and then the courtyard seating area at the Old Street branch. In 2017 Thom moved to Brighton and Herb decided to go it alone.
‘Homeslice City quickly followed the Old St project and was my first solo undertaking. I think it was a bit of a leap of faith on the part of Ry and his business partners to give me the job – but I guess I had earned enough trust by that point.‘
Benefitting from the multi-talented members of Blackhorse Workshop, Herb joined forces with his fellow makers and set to work creating and delivering the main fit out with architects Path. The restaurant features simple and contemporary furniture which also manages to feel nostalgic, a modern take on an old diner classic. Booths made with Valchromat seating and burnt Douglas Fir tabletops sit alongside curved banquettes, functional and fun steel pizza box dispensers are suspended over the gantry.
With several projects are on the horizon, (and not just with Kiwis), Herb Palmer has a busy year ahead which he credits to word of mouth, but also the work clearly speaks for itself.