We hunkered down over the course of three days to photograph Grain Traders’ signature offerings, as well as its founders and core team members, back in August, a month before the place’s official opening. These few days also gave us a sneak peek into how everything was coming together before the big launch — here’s a look back at how it all happened. 

We started with the profile shoot for three key members of the Grain Traders team. We gathered everyone in the space, that was still undergoing the final stages of construction, and got down to business. 

First up was Ken, an experience designer who is also the creative director and partner of Grain Traders. While it was clear that Ken wasn’t the most comfortable in front of the camera at first, making funny faces at the camera whenever things got a little too awkward for him, he pushed through and found his momentum, nailing his shot towards the end.

Next was Gisela, executive chef, who had been hard at work in the kitchen, unpacking equipment and getting the place set up for service. She needed some time outside to cool down and regain her calm composure, but once she stepped in front of the lens, she was incredibly at ease, breezing through the shoot.

Javier, the director and founder of Grain Traders, then took his turn. He was evidently no stranger to the camera as well, shifting from pose to pose effortlessly, showing off the charisma that was expected of his background in F&B and hospitality. 

We then brought everyone together for a group shot, and it was awesome to see the team playing off each other’s vibes and showing the chemistry and teamwork that brought them together in the first place.

A couple of weeks later, we were back at Grain Traders to photograph the thing that everyone was most excited about — the food. If you’re familiar with the Grain Traders menu, you’ll know about our breakfast offerings, including the Polenta Eggs Rancheros; Roasted Chicken and Roasted Pork Brown Rice Porridges; Coconut Oatmeal, Banana Cinnamon Oatmeal; and our four bagels — Guacamole BLT, Tequila-cured Salmon, Scrambled Eggs & Sautéed Mushrooms; and Wasabi Tuna Tartare with Avocado. There’s also our six Hero Bowls, which we serve for lunch and dinner: El Hibaro; The Beebop; Rooster’s Crow; Mr. Pirom; Upstream; and The Tantrum, all featuring a different protein and grain. 

We photographed these dishes, along with a selection of coffees and hot beverages, across two days. It was our first real look at how each dish was supposed to be presented, and while the kitchen was still working out a few last kinks, we were thrilled to finally be able to see the concept of the place all coming together — from the trays and dishes of food all lined up along the counter, displayed to their mouthwatering best; to the specially-made bowls that everyone would eat from; and the staff and team all getting ready to go. 

It reminded us of all the people who had helped to make this happen — some old friends, some new ones made along the way, and everyone who had chipped in in his or her own small way to make this vision a reality. We've already got plans to take this to the next level, so watch this space.