The best of British

The best of British
05/05/2017 - 08:00
Green & Fortune Cafe, the King's Cross based restaurant, bar, cafe and events operator, specialises in honest, British, seasonal food. Last year it saw the launch of its second cafe as well as winning Independent Operator of the Year at our Eat Out Awards. Maria Bracken finds out what makes this concept an award winner.

The independent cafe prides itself on its provenance and quality. All of the beef and lamb is sourced from its own farm in Northumberland where its animals are born, hand reared and grass-fed on naturally fertilised land. Cafe manager Dale Campbell explains the importance of local produce: "We source our poultry from Swainson Farm in Goosnargh and our fish is sourced from Chaphams independent fishmonger. We make sure that none of our produce is fed growth hormones or antibiotics. Fruit and veg is also sourced by two family-run suppliers, so we're really investing in quality."

Green & Fortune offers something for everyone. "Those with dietary requirements such as dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan can eat with us. We also offer such a wide range of products - waffles, pizza, amazing coffee, healthy options and a lot more."

All food is made onsite daily. The menu offers at least two, daily changing hot dishes plus eight, monthly changing sandwich options, salads and soups, including meat and veggie options. Its wide range of homemade cakes, brownies are also a big hit with consumers. "Our cakes change daily and we even offer a bespoke 'Cakeaway' cake making service for birthdays, leaving do's or whatever you need."

Staying ahead of the curve is also crucial to the success of the business. "Change is good so it's essential that our offerings are adaptable and we can add or alter something at the drop of a hat. All of our food is produced by our own kitchen staff, so it's easy to communicate with chefs and cater to customers' needs. We're passionate about hospitality here - we love eating and drinking which means that we've constantly got our eyes on what's going on in the market. If we see something we like, we bring that idea to the team and look at how we can implement it. No idea is a bad idea."

He adds that offering excellent customer service is also imperative to their success: "The cafe has a fun and friendly vibe. We take the time to really get to know our customers as we have plenty of regulars so can go the extra mile to have their orders waiting for them and form great relationships."

Scooping the Independent Operator of the Year title last year was a huge honour, explains Campbell: "We run a tight ship. There are always 100 things to do to be able to run a cafe concept like we have. We enjoy running the shop floor and day-to-day service so much that you can sometimes forget that what the customers see is a service, so to win something like this really hits home. It reminds you that you're on the right track and gives you a real sense of accomplishment."

Looking ahead, Campbell sees King's Cross becoming a 'destination for dining' as a big opportunity for the business. "With the development of King's Cross, also comes fresh competition in the local area - with this we have to ensure we are ready for the challenge. We have no outdoor signage on the building, so it can be a challenge to attract walk-in business. We have to work harder at letting people know we are here."

Hosting pop up events is one way of attracting new business. "Once a week we create a pop up which can be anything from make your own pizza or waffle, meet the baker for cake decorating to make your own sausages with Claus, our on-site butcher. We love putting pop ups on and our customers love them, too. It's a nice way of interacting with new and regular customers by offering something exciting and different."

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