Toni Petruzelli, Punk Me Up Cafe

Tell us a little about yourself? 

My name is Toni Petruzelli, and I am the Director and founder of Punk Me Up.  If you ask me how old I am, I’ll probably reply I’m not sure and whip out my fingers for counting, somewhere around the 36 mark although it’s my Birthday this week so I’d better get counting!  

You’ll find me at our Ceramics Café, on 34 East Dulwich Road, on most days, or at home with my very own Punks, Giulio (5) and Vittorio (3).

What is Punk Me Up and why did you set it up? 

I began my career as a textile designer and after a few years working in high-end fashion I’d had enough.  I retrained, and over the next 10 years worked as a specialist teacher to children with complex needs. 

Setting up Punk Me Up Buttercup (as we have been known until recently) was inevitable.  During long walks and nights awake with both of my boys willing them to sleep, my brain filled with ideas…  

How children develop, play, learn and interact with the world has always fascinated me.  Our business Punk Me Up combines my love of working with children, my skills in facilitating the Arts and seeing things differently.  

Like most businesses we started at the kitchen table, quickly progressed to the garden shed, where embarrassingly our first employee came to work, then to our first studio, Greenwich Market and now our own Ceramics Café in East Dulwich.     

Having spent the last three years developing our events company over in Greenwich, we are now based in East Dulwich at our family friendly ceramics café.  Watch out for the Punk Me Up Mobil, you’re sure to see us at events and Birthday parties where we arrange everything from Arts based activities, airbrushed face-painting, creative food for big and little kids and much much more…  


How do you balance running a business with motherhood?

Honestly, no idea!  Can you help??

What do you love about SE London and particularly being a mother here? 

I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like being out and about recently: will get back in touch when I get the day off!!

Can you share one secret tip to other mothers in this area?

For me:  Charlie Foxtrot Vintage in Nunhead always has something to cheer me up and it’s on my way to work so I can have a secret stop shop!  

For Punks and Buttercups: Gently Elephant in Brockley has the best selection of toys and shoes that I’ve EVER come across, I’ve never left empty handed!

You can find Toni at the Cafe and also on the Punk Me Up site / Twitter / Instagram.

*Look out for Happy Kids Hour coming in September – Midweek Pizza and Paint for £10 between 4 – 5 pm

*We also have a wonderful mega mama collaboration happening at Punk Me Up on Monday 10th August! An innovative kids workshop with Smallprint Books. All details and booking here

PLUS....Shout The Mamahood at Punk Me Up Ceramics for ½ price studio fees and a £10 discount from one of our Birthday parties. Shop local and supporting your fellow mamas never got this good!

Diana Bardega