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Island Poké

Interview with James Gould-Porter, Founder, Island Poké

James Gould-Porter, Founder of Island Poké, tells us how Kingly Court provides the perfect balance of customers for food outlets and how proud he is to have opened his first store in Carnaby.



1. Can you tell us about your business? You started as a mobile business and then pitched for the restaurant space on Kingly St – had you always envisioned you would make that change? 

Yes I started on the street food circuit around seven years ago now. Island Poké was born with the desire to serve the fresh pacific flavours I was exposed to as a child in Southern California, and I wanted to make sure the atmosphere was high energy and make a genuine connection with our customers.


2. How has the Island Poké restaurant and location evolved over time?

We did a re-fit a few years ago on Kingly St, as the first build was done relatively basically. I was the site labourer and handyman, and that is not my skill set and it probably showed. The brand quickly began to show its identity and I absolutely love the look and feel. Hopefully it gives people a feeling of escapism to their happy place.


3. Why do you think both Island Poké and the Kingly St location have been successful? What are the main benefits for you to being in Carnaby?

I could not have dreamt to have started Island Poké in a better location. There is such a fantastic mix of people - from creatives, fashion, financial services and tourists. Our menu is very diverse with over one million variations and allows us to be inclusive to everyone.


4. What is your relationship like with the community? How would you describe the Carnaby community in three words?

Creative, forward thinking and foodie.


5. What are a few of your favourite memories about the Island Poké Kingly St restaurant and Carnaby over the years?

Kingly St is where all the sentiment is for me and is the 'baby.' Initially, Island Poké team was all friends of mine from Uni. The bond allowed for a completely unique energy that was definitely felt by our customers. We really created a strong rapport and family service style which is at the heart of everything we do.