IslingtonTribune

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Flapjacks café to move out of high street

Will another unit be left empty on Kentish Town Road?

14 February, 2019 — By Dan Carrier

A POPULAR café which has provided work and apprenticeships is set to close its doors on the high street in Kentish Town.

Flapjacks, run by learning disability charity the Camden Society, has faced rising rents in Kentish Town Road. It is moving into a purpose-built unit at the council’s new Centre for Independent Living in nearby Greenwood Place.

The café has been operating for 20 years, offering hundreds of people training and work experience, leading to full-time jobs.

Many customers are sad to see it leave its current site – and fear that, without such a prominent position, trade may suffer.

Regular Jo Siedlecka said: “They buy the ingredients in the morning and cook really delicious breakfasts and lunches. Some staff in the past have gone from here to get other jobs in catering. For others, it’s the place they enjoy working in and want to stay.”

She fears customers will not be able to find the new location, and that the prominent corner building might join the long list of closed shops in Kentish Town Road. “So that’s another empty building on our high street, to add to Tolli’s, the post office, two banks and several other buildings,” she said. “Many of the others have been taken over by chain supermarkets and coffee shops.”

Her views were echoed by Caroline Hill, chairwoman of Kentish Town Road Action campaign group.

“It is a very honourable and useful coffee shop and café and is run for a great purpose,” she said. “We feel very sad it will disappear from out high street.”

A spokesperson for the Camden Society said it had won a tender to run a café in the new centre. It would help to improve the standard of training provided.

“After two decades of successfully offering tasty menus and providing skills and qualification training in Kentish Town Road, Flapjacks is moving to new premises, just around the corner,” the spokesperson added. “We open for business there in March. “Despite the great location on the high street we are unable to match the increased rent demands and have taken the hard decision to move.”

The new café was more commercially viable and equipped to a high standard, the spokesperson said, adding: ” We aren’t going far, and our loyal Kentish Town customers will still be able to pop in for their favourite dish or drink.”

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