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Trade Union, Wapping: the pioneering model for new businesses
Jul 15th 2016 | Written by Baldwin Ho

Trade Union, Wapping: the pioneering model for new businesses

Trade Union in Wapping isn’t the latest headquarters for the labour party, but an innovative new business concept whereby different businesses are grouped under 1 roof to offer synergistic support to each other.

You might think Wapping is very far from central London by in fact it is very close to Tower Hill station just behind the serene St Katherine’s Dock.

It is housed in the rather grey business complex of Thomas More Square, which has been crying out for something like Trade Union, as it so far has only shops such as Waitrose and fitness first.Trade union exterior

With over 6,000 square feet of space, it wasn’t going to be a difficult task combining other businesses under 1 roof. They have a bespoke flower shop from Maua London, the award-winning barber shop that is Drakes of London, coffee that is made with love and passion by Vagabond and finally their spacious, industrial-designed bar and restaurant. There are also added extras like a slide, photo booth and a private event area.Trade Union - coffee shop and barber

Trade Union bar and slideWith any new concept there are things to work on, their website isn’t quite there yet, as the food and drinks menu were not yet online at the time of writing this review.

During our visit, the service was extremely speedy; although I would say too fast, as we managed to get both our starter and main course arrive at the same time some 7 minutes after ordering. Unfortunately the steak tartare that was ordered looked dull in colour instead of being fresh and glossy. The meat could have been more finely minced with extra onions, capers and seasonings. The fettucini with crab, chili and pecorino did taste much fresher, although I would prefer chunks of crab meat where you can taste the flavours more rather than finely broken flakes.Trade Union - steak tartare and fettucini

When I asked about desserts which were on the menu, the amicable waiter explained they hadn’t started offering desserts yet, but did offer coffee. However, after a while the manager did come over to explain that Vagabond coffee closed at 15:30, so they were not able to offer coffee. In fact the florist and the barber shop had also closed before 7pm. I would have thought some people might be interested in those services post-work. Trade Union is a very exciting concept indeed and considering how busy Londoners are these days, a one-stop shop is ideal for most people. Although they do need to work on the logistics which would mean offering the best service at convenient times for their customers.