Sonder – the name
We get asked all the time ‘where does the name come from’ and ‘are you part of a chain’. The answer to the second question is easy – Sonder is a truly independent entity. We are not tied to any particular brewery or wholesaler. As any business we will agree short term deals to our advantage but we can buy our food and drink from anywhere in the world, and we do.
The name is a longer story. Are you sat comfortably? A version of Sonder has been in the planning for a number of years. The idea being the same the from the start, however, the name wasn’t. Sonder is a family run business and during a family discussion it was decided that the name wasn’t quite right. After weeks of deliberation and some pretty ridiculous ideas it was a comment from our then 16 year old daughter.
‘My favourite word at the moment is Sonder’
This was followed by an explanation of and introduction to a very talented American writer, John Koenig, and his blog a Dictionary Of Obscure Sorrows. John decribes the blog as a compendium of invented words written by John Koenig. Each original definition aims to fill a hole in the language—to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for.
Johns’ definition is n. the realisation that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
We often simplify it with our interpretation. The realisation that everyones life is as chaotic and complicated as your own.
No where near as poetic as John but you get the idea. The name just fits with everything we do.
What do we do?
We’ve been asked by numerous government forms and people to describe our business and we struggle to fit into their boxes.
We are not the norm. We are a bar, a cafe, a restaurant, a takeaway, a coffee house, a meeting place and more!! We aimed for an everyone is welcome vibe and somehow we did it. Our customers come from all backgrounds and all ages and include quite a few dogs.
Inspired by the desire to explore the world of food and drink we wanted to bring something new and ever changing to Truro.
We are a small team on an adventure. 12 taps serving a range of world craft beers and ciders, boxed still cider, artisan spirits and the amazing Olfactory coffee.
Our food is derived from street food recipes around the world. We source ingredients from local and international sources ensuring as much authenticity as possible.
Our food and drink is always changing giving you a chance to experience something new on almost every visit.
We want our customers to become part of the adventure and get involved. Let us know what you like and don’t. Tell us about experiences from around the world.
Join in our theme food, cocktail, spirit and beer tasting nights.
Sonder – the venue
The building in which we created Sonder is in the city centre in Truro. In the last century is has been through many guises including a jewellers, a solicitors offices, a model shop and more.
We did wonder how we would fit everything in but had fallen in love with the building and it’s location.
We squeezed in our beer cellar, kitchen and bar on the ground floor and built a couple of cosy booths to create “The Taproom”. Cosy but always an amazing atmosphere.
The next floor used to be linked to the building next door many, many years ago and we’ve called it “The Parlour”. This space is versatile and is used for large bookings (up to 40 people), events and ‘restaurant’ seating.
The top floor had been out of use for decades and many of the features had been covered up. Some hard work and a lot of dust later we had the perfect location for “The Lounge”.
A small space for chilling, working, parties and events with it’s comfy seating The Lounge is often the first place to fill.
One wall has embraced the interactive nature of Sonder we our colour-in mural. We create the idea, our customers add the art.
Sonder – the future
We are so proud of Sonder but understand that there are many factors that feed our success. The people, the venue, the customers and the products. We wouldn’t try to replicate this elsewhere but we are always looking for opportunities to bring the principles and ethos of Sonder to other places.