EMPTY SHOP TRANSFORMED INTO FOOD HUB / CROYDON FLIES THE FLAG FOR HEALTHY FOOD
EMPTY SHOP TRANSFORMED INTO FOOD HUB
Surrey StrEatery, Croydon’s new food hub, will be the toast of firework cocktails and bonfire dishes on November the fifth as a series of Guy Fawkes-themed activities take place to celebrate its launch.
Through funding from the Mayor of London’s regeneration fund and Croydon council, seven budding street food traders have been given the chance to make their dreams a reality at the new Surrey StrEatery, which has opened at a vacant shop at Bridge House, Surrey Street, Croydon.
The Mayor’s regeneration fund has agreed £23 million of funding to Croydon, with £822,000 of that dedicated to improvements on the high street, including supporting local jobs and growth. This is in addition to more than £26million of funding from the council and others through the Connected Croydon Programme.
Running until March next year, Surrey StrEatery is open throughout the day serving up breakfast and lunch, while the evening will feature cookery demonstrations, pop-up restaurants and community events.
In the demonstration kitchen, chefs and local food sellers will cook dishes using ingredients sourced from the nearby market in Surrey Street.
The launch day, which runs from 10am to 7pm, begins with willow lantern and sculpture workshops, followed by demonstrations of bonfire dishes. A guest demo chef will then take centre stage to show how to cook produce sold from the market. Recipes include Bread Bowl Cookery, Apple Dumplings and South African Bobotie.
The official launch and ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Mayor of Croydon Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed and the council’s cabinet member for economic development, Councillor Toni Letts, takes place between 1pm and 2pm.
Table top fireworks and sparklers accompanied by live music will bring the day to a close, as customers buy their evening meals from the StrEatery.
The Mayor’s Regeneration Fund has given the seven traders grants of up to £3,000 towards the cost of their stall and running a demo area for teaching, cooking demonstrations and workshops.
They will also be given six months’ support to help them build their businesses.
This includes a tailored package of free space to trade, with no rent, rates or utility bills.
Training and mentoring is also included, as well as the offer of a professional marketing campaign to help promote the area as a destination for lovers of quality street food.
The aim is to create at least 14 new jobs from supporting these businesses (two jobs per business).
Cllr Toni Letts, cabinet member for economic development, said: “What better way to bring a vacant shop into use than by turning it into a vibrant, bustling eatery serving up quality street food which everyone can enjoy?
“There are not many markets like the one we have in Surrey Street. It’s a really fantastic resource which this project taps into, by ensuring all ingredients are sourced directly from the market.
“I’m sure this will be a very popular initiative, and I can’t wait to visit and try out the wonderful variety of cuisine on offer.”
Deputy mayor for business and enterprise, Kit Malthouse, said: “The beauty of the Surrey StrEatery is that it is more than just a place for people to come to shop; they can eat, relax and socialise too.
“On the other side of the counter, valuable new jobs are being created for local people.
“As with high streets across London, the small businesses here are entirely unique and provide a great service to their customers whilst boosting local economies, which is exactly the sort of venture the Mayor is delighted to support.”
The seven businesses at the food hub are:-
• Dos Santos Foods –offers “Goan Food”, unique Portuguese/Indian street food
• Liquid Pod – a healthy “super food” alternative also offering a concept called “Liquid Select”, a type of smoothie where customers choose the ingredients
• Plumbun – offering a range of high quality cakes and bakery goods
• Mum’s the Chef – this sees the launch of “That’s a wrap”, a project about creating healthy nutritious alternatives to greasy breakfast rolls and sandwiches, to the local workforce and student population
• Olivier’s Bakery – an existing business that freshly bakes Croissant, Danish, Savouries and seasonal pastries and salted pastries using local ingredients (from farmers market). He will also display a selection of his bread range which will be baked and delivered daily
• Ro Co Coffee – recently started trading on the Platform at Ruskin Square, providing a wide selection of coffee, tea and hot chocolate.
• La Carreta – founder Beatriz Iliana Machado has swapped California for Croydon and will be selling a variety of authentic Mexican and South American food
(Source: Croydon council press release.)
CROYDON FLIES THE FLAG FOR HEALTHY FOOD
Growing food, learning to cook, and understanding the importance of a healthy diet in preventing obesity are the principal aims of Croydon becoming a food flagship borough.
The Greater London Authority’s selection of Croydon as the five-year flagship borough for outer London to pioneer school-based and community projects aims to improve health through growing food, and improving cooking skills and food standards.
As a flagship, Croydon will receive support from the GLA’s food, health, education and sport teams, along with the Mayor’s Fund for London, to transform the food landscape in the borough.
Croydon will receive £600,000 in funding from the GLA over the next two years to help achieve this, with £100,000 from the Innocent Foundation specifically for a child hunger project.
“The council already has plans in place to help residents lead longer, healthier lives after being awarded Heart Town status by the British Heart Foundation –the objectives of which are complementary to those of the food flagship programme” said a council spokesman..
“Croydon also has a successful healthy schools programme with the majority of schools in the borough already having achieved the Croydon healthy schools award, which also entitles them to the bronze award on the London healthy schools programme; 25 schools are aiming to achieve the silver award by the summer of 2015.”
As a flagship food borough, Croydon proposes:
developing food businesses – providing support and opportunity to those groups and individuals who have innovative ideas for providing healthy food to their community;
providing community grants – supporting and giving opportunities to those groups and individuals who have innovative ideas for growing and cooking healthy food;
instigating a child hunger project – working with families with young children at risk of food poverty to access healthy meals and improve parent cooking skills;
encouraging school food projects – improving the quality of school meals, and increasing uptake, by involving children in growing and cooking from reception onward; and
promoting community gardening projects – building communities’ capacity for growing and to optimise the potential of new growing areas in Croydon.
Cllr Louisa Woodley, cabinet member for people and communities, said: “The growing and eating of good, wholesome food is paramount in producing a healthy population.
“As a flagship food borough, Croydon is in a great position to influence children’s eating habits in the right way. “They, in turn, will take home what they learn at school and influence their families.
“Flagship status will provide the opportunity to use food to transform our environment, improve health, tackle obesity and reduce inequalities in Croydon.
“It will support the commitments we already have in place to improve the health of Croydon residents, as a Heart Town, and through our healthy schools programme.” (Source: Croydon council press release.)