The hipster entrepreneur in all of us died a little bit today with confirmation that Cereal Killer Cafe, the best place in London Town for overpriced bowls of breakfast foodstuffs and milk, is not going to re-open its doors.
Founders Alan and Gary Keery are saying Cheerios to their bricks-and-mortar eateries in the east end and north of the capital after 5.5 years in business. It’s all gone, er, snap, crackle and pop.
“After a long period of closure due to coronavirus, and with the future of the hospitality industry looking very uncertain, we have made a decision that our cafés on Brick Lane and Camden will not reopen,” the pair said.
During that time, the brothers claim to have flogged a staggering one million bowls of cereal to gullible idiots 21st century humans and “made a lot of people smile with our '90s themed cafes and cereal themed menu”.
“We have released a cookbook, been in countless press and TV shows, inspired a musical, and instigated a riot! We couldn’t have done any of this without the support of all you amazing cereal fans,” the pair added.
Reg readers may remember that in 2015, riot cops were called to defend the Cereal Killers cafe in Brick Lane after hundreds of anti-gentrification activists, some carrying pig’s heads and torches, wrote “scum” on the shop window and set alight to an effigy of a police officer.
Gary Keery spoke to the Graun: “It’s the senseless violence, isn’t it? We’ve had some letters through the letterbox saying ‘die hipsters’ and stuff but nothing this extreme. It just doesn’t make sense.”
Cereal Killer Cafe was seen as epitomising the changing face of the East End in London: the price for a small helping of sugar, corn and milk was said be “mostly under £6”.
Still, outside of the culture wars, lots of people on Trip Advisor rated their visits to the cafes as “excellent”, seven times as many as those that said they had a “terrible” time.
Who would have thought Lucky Charms, Peanut Butter pops or Apple Jacks could form part of a cafe-based business model? Hipsters, that’s who. It doesn’t appear to have been a massive money spinner, though.
Cereal Killers Cafe Ltd filed abbreviated accounts for the year ended 30 November 2018, meaning at had a turnover no more than £6.5m, fewer than 50 employees on average and a balance sheet totalling no more than £3.26m. Maybe there isn’t a pot of Golden Nuggets at the end of this particular rainbow.
The brothers are also behind Cornflake Twins, Cereal Killer International and Cereal Killer LLP. There is a theme to their empire.
Those feeling they might have missed out on this cereal-based wonder should fear not. The Keery duo aren’t going away, they still want us to breakfast like kings and their online store will remain open for business, allowing shoppers to buy their fave sugar-based breakfast staple, with the lure of free shipping on orders over £25, which should net the punter on average three boxes of cereal imported from mainland Europe, or further afield from the US, South Africa or Australia.
And if you still want to breathe in the same rarified air from the comfort of a Cereal Killer Cafe, all might not be lost.
“Fast-forward a year or two and we hope to re-open our doors, but until then we will be putting out efforts into growing our online store, creating out our own line of products and delivering awesome cereal,” the brothers said today.