Who’s Who: Hampstead Business Hub co-founder Melissa Vangeen on what she loves about Hampstead

Members of Hampstead Business Hub celebrate the group's first anniversay at Aubaine Restaurant. Pict

Members of Hampstead Business Hub celebrate the group's first anniversay at Aubaine Restaurant. Pictured (centre) are organisers Luke Thompson (red tie) and Melissa Vangeen (grey top). Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Melissa Vangeen, 36, is co-founder of the Hampstead Business Hub group and a partner at law firm Solomon Taylor & Shaw in Coach Yard, Hampstead

What brought you to Hampstead?

I left a huge law firm in the City to become a partner at Solomon Taylor & Shaw, a law firm that has been in Hampstead for over 30 years. Having grown up in and around Hampstead, I couldn’t wait to have a reason to be professionally part of a unique community and to carve out my own little corner here. Not to mention the shops.

What is your favourite thing about the area?

I love it that Hampstead is so cosmopolitan – whatever you are looking for it’s here. I also love the fact that it is minutes from the centre of London, yet manages to retain all the charm and community of a village.

If you could change one thing about Hampstead, what would that be? I would remove the pillar next to my parking space.

Why did you set up the Hampstead Business Hub?

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There are all sorts of wonderful groups and organisations in and around Hampstead, but nothing existed specifically to support the businesses that are so essential to NW3. It was clear that there was a gap in the market for an informal group to bring together the Hampstead workforce, so that we could share our knowledge and expertise and generally support and get to know each other.

If you had £100 to blow in Hampstead, how would you spend it?

It would not be difficult. With so many independent gift shops, boutiques and children’s stores, I would be spoilt for choice. Can we make it £200 please?

How would you spend your perfect day off in NW3?

I suspect I would saunter up and down the High Street, saying hello to the many faces I have met through my work. I would throw in a few coffees, a pastry or two, a bit of retail therapy, a stroll on the Heath, a bit of pampering, maybe a bit of National Trust culture and then perhaps a film to end the day.

What would your epitaph say?

She came, she saw, she shopped, she went.