Meet the Cafe: Fork Deli Patisserie
Bringing a sense of calm to Bloomsbury's hectic high street life, Fork Deli welcome customers with the aroma of artisan coffee and a delicious selection of food. They're one of our favourite bustling cafe's in London, so we grabbed five minutes with the founder to find out the secrets behind the magic.
Why did you start Fork Deli?
When we first opened in 2012, there were literally no decent coffee shops in the Marchmont Street area! Tired of seeing formulaic coffee shops and big chains opening everywhere, we opened a café that we would like to be customers in ourselves. Originally, we aimed mostly at producing really good quality coffee and really good quality food, having been a chef for 12 years, working in some of the best restaurants and hotels in the world during this time, so naturally the business started taking a more food driven path. Our philosophy is to produce original food, to a very high standard, using ethically sourced ingredients.
How did you start out with City Pantry?
Basically, through word of mouth. We have been looking to enter the catering market for a while, and after speaking to some people in the industry and doing some research, we liked everything about City Pantry so decided to get in contact. Everything was simple and well organised, ultimately makes our lives a lot easier, and we have so far both benefitted from the partnership.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when you founded your company?
Staff! It is really difficult to find good staff in the industry,and there are so many people in this industry who do it just as a bridging job. They are only planning to do it for a short time while they travel/study, and to build a lasting sustainable business you need good people who are as serious as you are to work with you.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
We see Fork Deli doing a lot more corporate catering. We still have our plans to expand by opening more shops, but working with City Pantry has shown us we can also expand our catering operation, so we are focusing quite heavily on that right now.
Do you have a signature dish at Fork Deli?
Our gluten free brownies are absolutely incredible - we have customers waiting outside before we open to buy them!
If someone was visiting London for the weekend, what’s your must-do tip?
Walk along the Thames from London Blackfriars to Fulham Bridge! It takes almost a whole day, but it is definitely worth it! You get to see a lot of tourist stuff (Westminster, Tate modern, the South bank) as well as some really beautiful buildings along the way.
Your task is to set a challenge for Great British Bake Off - what would it be and why?
Bake three plain baguettes. I know it sounds simple, but to bake a perfect baguette is actually quite difficult! My belief in food preparation is, and has always been, unless you can do the basics really well, you will never be able to do the advanced stuff well! So for that reason, bake three plain baguettes.
Thanks to Fork Deli for speaking to us! Read about when we met up with Mexican restaurant Corazon, or maybe bring Fork Deli into your office today: