More tea, Brockers?

Jeremy: "If you build it, they will come". That's my market research.
Mark: Field of Dreams? A man who builds a baseball field in his backyard for ghosts? That's your role model?
- Peep Show

A new café will open early next year at The Tea Factory.

Called ‘The Tea Factory’ it will occupy the vacant corner unit, nearest Brockley Cross. We knew that the site had always been targeted as a possible café, but we imagined that the recession had killed that prospect for the foreseeable future. Never knowingly pessimistic, this is one occasion when we underestimated the regeneration underway in SE4.

Caroline has been in touch to tell us about her plans – she joins a group of new local entrepreneurs that includes Felix at The Talbot, Raymond at The Brockley Mess and Ross at Browns of Brockley, all putting their faith in the strength of the local market.

The plans sound great and, as well as providing a new option in this part of Brockley, they will be reclaiming the pavement area from the cars and vans that have been using that part of Brockley Cross as an elephant graveyard. She tells us:

“We are a family run business and are opening a bespoke tea and coffee shop at The Tea Factory in Brockley Cross. We’ll be opening in January or February.

“We’ll be serving Illy coffee and we’re working on finding a truly English brand of tea, together with home made cakes and dishes of the day.

“The menus will be designed by chef Dan Lucas. He is currently teaching the chefs of tomorrow at the Shooters Hill Post 16 Campus. Dan has had a wealth of experience in the trade including many years at Chez Bruce just down the road in Wandsworth. The ingredients will be sourced from Borough Market, Riverford and Abel & Cole to ensure we are getting the freshest fruit and vegetables available and of course this will also ensure the products are fair-trade. We’ll start off with a limited food menu, with nothing costing more than a fiver.

“We’ll be refurbishing the shop with the emphasis on quality and comfort. We’ll also be making use of the pavement area.

“We’re really excited about bringing a new café to the area - it has a great community atmosphere and we believe it's up-and-coming. We hope the people of Brockley will be impressed and supportive and we look forward to meeting them!”
In light of the long (some would say tedious) debates about kids in cafes that have taken place here and here, we thought we’d better ask Caroline what kind of balance they’ll be striking at The Tea Factory.

She said:

“We are actually providing a safe area down the side of the shop to park buggies (there will be a CCTV camera on that area with a screen inside) and will be offering a few special options for kids.

“Of course, we would also hope the parents make sure their kids don’t run riot, so that other customers can enjoy the space too.”

We look forward to hearing more from Caroline as her plans progress.

By the way, this news isn’t what this was all about.