Creativity is the process of bringing something new into being. It requires passion and commitment. Today, we have the creative duo – brothers Joshua Sailo and Matthew Sailo from Mizoram – founders of “The Warehouse Cafe,” which is not only known for its good food but also popular around the town for its exciting local events – from live shows, and open mic to art exhibitions, games and more.
The brothers, having educated abroad, and now back home in Mizoram with a deeper sense of what home is, this cafe project is one that is close to their hearts. They aim to bring the best of influences from the western world through their own experiences, and couple that with their passion to promote local talents, and use this cafe to create a lively place to bring the talented local folks together and give them a platform to shine.
Let’s chat with Joshua Sailo and Matthew Sailo from Mizoram -founders of “The Warehouse Cafe” to knkw more about them, their story, their cafe and more.
Hello Guys! Please introduce a little about yourself.
Hello R&L, we are Matthew Sailo (24) and Joshua Sailo (27) from Aizawl, Mizoram. We grew up in Delhi and later went to Woodstock School in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand. Being raised as third culture kids led us to seek out further studies abroad taking Joshua to Canada and Matthew to USA. Joshua went on to pursue a career in dance and has traveled the world, touring and performing and aspires to keep creating an artistic platform for others in Mizoram. Matthew went on to study film making and returned to Mizoram after graduation – to launch and take care of Folkland Park as the CEO.
Tell us about your place, “The Warehouse cafe”, how did you come up with the idea?
Our café was launched in January 2017 in hopes of building a creative community within Folkland Park. The Warehouse café is one of many entities within ‘Folkland Park’, which include go-karting, laser Tag, a small movie theater, futsal, swimming pool, etc. Folkland is the first entertainment park in Mizoram and was built with the intention of creating a safe and fun environment where you could come and have a good time with friends and family.
Growing up, we would come home to Mizoram for our holidays and we realized early on that spaces for recreation, entertainment, arts, etc., were lacking in our hometown. One could also sense the frustration, especially amongst the youth as there were not a lot of hangout places that parents would approve of. Gathering from all our experiences from elsewhere and the desire to bring outside experiences home, we started the Folkland project as a family. Activities and experiences that would have required a plane ticket or at the least a long train-ride are now available in our own hometown. Even after having our doors open for more than two and a half years, it’s still such a joy to see people of all ages, especially the youth having a good time at the park. We hope that the childhood memories of the youth that come here would be filled with memories at Folkland Park.
Since there was no eatery at Folkland park, we followed up with the Warehouse café 6 months after opening the park. We’ve always had a passion for music and the arts, so it was a natural inclination to create a platform for it. Going back to the vision behind Folkland, we wanted to use the Warehouse Café as a springboard for aspiring artists and musicians alike.
People of all ages gathered at “The Warehouse Cafe” to try the food and having good time!
A look inside the interior of “The Warehouse Cafe”
The Coffee corner of “The Warehouse Cafe”
What is the story behind the name of your cafe?
Our mother, who played a huge role in overseeing the project during our absence, often mentioned how the space looked like a warehouse. When we were thinking of a name for the café, “The Warehouse” just stuck in our heads, so we decided to keep the name as well as the pre-existing rustic industrial layout of the building.
What is so special about “The Warehouse cafe”?
What makes the Warehouse café special is the community that has grown from it. We have so much pride in the belief that Mizos are super talented, especially when it comes to music. It was no surprise to us that the art and music community grew so fast. The talent was already present, we were lucky to be the ones providing the space.
One of the things that makes The Warehouse special is our ongoing ‘Open Mic’ Events. Participants sign up through our website for the event. We host artists of all kinds ranging from beginners to undiscovered stars. We try to nurture promising artists until they become confident enough to have their very own concerts at the Warehouse Stage. We have been fortunate to host the debut concert for artists such as Dampuia and bands like This Chord that have gone on to give show stopping performances at music festivals outside Mizoram. We’re grateful to have hosted many live shows that include established bands such as Avora Records, Jeff & Empy, Evenflow, Kroashia, Paperboat etc. and talented groups like Zotunes, ZoJokes, and the ever so amazing ScreenFarm Production’s Baybery Show.
Other than live shows and art exhibitions, our space has also extended a warm welcome to street culture including beatboxing, b-boy, bmx, and skateboarding events in association with local urban and street sport groups such as “Ground Rule.” The most recent one being a sneakercon event hosted by Capsul India.
“The Warehouse Cafe” hosting Zojokes Uprising day
B-Boy event at “The Warehouse Cafe”
Bmx event at Folkland’s “The Warehouse Cafe”
Our passion lies in exposing the talent of Mizoram and building a network of creative and like-minded people in the process. It’s the combination of all these talents, communities, and cultures combined that make the Warehouse Café special. We believe it’s really important to invest in building spaces like these so that creative talents from different fields can engage, connect and inspire each other to give birth to new ideas and collaborations.
How has your upbringing influenced elements of your cafe?
Like we mentioned before, we have spent the majority of our lives outside Mizoram. Regardless of this, we’ve been fascinated by the idea of what our hometown could become. Through what we have experienced, we try to incorporate a certain level of professionalism in our approach with the café. We strive for the best quality, be it food, service or ambiance. Even though we are in a small corner of northeast India, we strive to compete with international standards. The quality is not only for others, but also for ourselves to enjoy and share. As long as we are doing the best that we can for our customers and community, we are happy.
What do you guys serve and what’s the most special thing on your menu?
Our mom used to make grilled sandwiches for us. And we often made it when we lived alone as well. So, our initial menu was based around sandwiches (Chicken Mayo and Tuna sandwiches to be specific) and it’s safe to say it has grown to be the favorite. We don’t have any rice-based items, which is quite unusual for a café or restaurant in Mizoram. This was a risk at first, but we’re happy to see so many of our customers coming back specifically for our sandwiches. We don’t have anything on our menu that we don’t enjoy ourselves. We are always experimenting and making changes to our menu in order to bring what we enjoy and consider not easily available in the city. This has helped us expand to pancakes, fish & chips, pasta, etc. which have quickly caught on with our customers.
The Warehouse Cafe’s Special coffee
The famous simple yet delicious sandwich along with potato fries of “The Warehouse Cafe”
The Warehouse Cafe’s mouth-watering Burger!
Follow The Warehouse Cafe on Instagram for more all the updates of the food, beverages and exciting activities!!
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