The simple idea of a ‘community cafe’, serving Bengali dishes prepared from traditional domestic recipes and served with the warm hospitality so characteristic of this region in south Asia, is attractive indeed!
We at Oitij-jo Collective believed in it. And, by the end of an exciting crowdfunding campaign in November last year, so did 117 backers – including the Mayor of London, Tower Hamlets Town Centres Team and the Aldgate Partnership. A grand total of £13,317 was raised by our backers; to every one of them, we are sincerely grateful!
With your help, we plan to bring a little colourful – and tasteful – variety to the tables of Brick Lane, create opportunities for gifted women to share their culinary expertise and develop skills needed for rewarding work in catering, and to promote appreciation of Bengali artistry in the cosmopolitan world of east London’s Brick Lane.
You have told us the ‘inspiration’ is good! Now, following discussions with the Mayor of London’s Crowdfund Team, we can start on the ‘perspiration’ – the systematic hard work that alone will bring this ‘community cafe’ to reality.
In the initial stages, we will test the concept in practical terms – designing appropriate spaces for kitchens and clientele, developing an initial menu, assessing staff needs, identifying skills and preparing training for the women who will lead in the kitchen, and settling upon recruitment activities. Throughout, we will develop costings in detail, all of which will be subjected to objective professional and commercial scrutiny; we know that the ‘community cafe’ must be a sound ‘business’ to survive and succeed.
As we collect and consider dishes for possible inclusion in our menu, we will give critical attention to the sourcing of ingredients – where they are to be found, their health-related qualities, and how environmentally-sustainable and sensitive they are. And we will gather together the best of them for publication, to give us a supplementary income and an early ‘identity’ in London’s highly competitive world of exquisite dining.
We have been speaking to Mayor of London’s team at City Hall and to Spacehive and they are fully supportive of TATI’s approach going forward.
At intervals during this work, we will report on progress to you all – our valued and appreciated partners. We look forward to your continued support!
If you have any questions or concerns about this, please get in touch with Oitij-jo on: firstname.lastname@example.org or Spacehive on: email@example.com .