Meet The Member: Introducing Ryan Cardwell, founder of Whisht!

Firstly, introduce yourself! 

I’m Ryan and I’m from Dundrum in County Down, Northern Ireland. I’ve been in London for about 8 years and originally came over to pursue a job in Mechanical engineering – I quickly realised it wasn’t my calling and that the hospitality sector was, and I’ve been eating and drinking like a king since. 

Tell us a bit about how you started Whisht and what the name means? 

With a passion for sandwiches and plenty of time on my hands while being furloughed during lockdown, I decided to try a pop-up and sell some from my house. Whisht is a slang term for ‘ssshhh’ or ‘Be quiet!’ commonly used in Ireland- as a child you were often told to ‘houl your whisht’. A funny little term that has nothing to do with sandwiches, but it’s catchy.

What makes Whisht unique?
Whisht is unique because it uses Irish breads, ingredients and recipes to make beaut sandwiches. Ireland essentially has the same ingredients as the rest of the UK but most people just  associate it with stew and potatoes, so I’m trying to change that a little.

Where does your passion for food come from? 

I come from a family where food has always been talked about and made with passion. I guess that gave me a platform to expand from. But mainly it comes from the excitement I can get from creating something from very little and making people happy. Also, it makes me very happy to eat something delicious, you know.

Tell us about your connection to South London and Brixton. 

When I first moved to London, I stayed with my best friend who lived between Streatham and Brixton. Brixton was my main point of reference for a long time and I gained my bearings of the little town of London around it.

Why did you choose Pop Brixton as the first home for Whisht! 

How could I not?! The food selection and buzz around Pop is unreal. To be welcomed here has been such a privilege!

Make our mouths water! What should people be ordering from the Whisht menu?

The filled soda is great, perfect for breakfast/brunch/lunch and even better as a hangover cure. It has everything to get you going. But, the Colcannon Slim is a bit more inventive and I’ve been continuously tweaking it to make it the signature, it’s very Irish and it’s well tasty.

Check out the Whisht Instagram Page here:

And check out their full menu here:


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