Street food traders show off skills at Croydon food hub


By - Wednesday 5th November, 2014

A former empty shop at Bridge House on Surrey Street will be home to seven street traders as part of Surrey StrEatery, which the council hopes will be Croydon’s new food hub. The project is being supported through the Mayor’s Regeneration Fund to generate local jobs and growth. Launching on 5 November, Surrey StreEatery will have a demonstration kitchen, pop up restaurants and community events.


Croydon’s answer to Borough Market? Photo taken by Herry Lawford and used under Creative Commons licence.

Release begins: Surrey StrEatery, Croydon’s new food hub, will be the toast of firework cocktails and bonfire dishes on 5 November, as a series of Guy Fawkes-themed activities take place to celebrate its launch.

Through funding from the Mayor of London’s Regeneration Fund and Croydon Council, seven budding street food traders have been given the chance to make their dreams a reality at the new Surrey StrEatery, which has opened at a vacant shop at Bridge House, Surrey Street, Croydon.

The Mayor’s Regeneration Fund has agreed £23million of funding to Croydon, with £822,000 of that dedicated to improvements on the high street, including supporting local jobs and growth. This is in addition to more than £26million of funding from the council and others through the Connected Croydon Programme.

Running until March next year, Surrey StrEatery is open throughout the day serving up breakfast and lunch, while the evening will feature cookery demonstrations, pop-up restaurants and community events.

In the demonstration kitchen, chefs and local food sellers will cook dishes using ingredients sourced from the nearby market in Surrey Street.

The launch day, which runs from 10am to 7pm, begins with willow lantern and sculpture workshops, followed by demonstrations of bonfire dishes. A guest demo chef will then take centre stage to show how to cook produce sold from the market. Recipes include Bread Bowl Cookery, Apple Dumplings and South African Bobotie.

The official launch and ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Mayor of Croydon Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed and the council’s cabinet member for economic development, Councillor Toni Letts, takes place between 1pm and 2pm.

Table top fireworks and sparklers accompanied by live music will bring the day to a close, as customers buy their evening meals from the StrEatery.

The Mayor’s Regeneration Fund has given the seven traders grants of up to £3,000 towards the cost of their stall and running a demo area for teaching, cooking demonstrations and workshops. They will also be given six months’ support to help them build their businesses. This includes a tailored package of free space to trade, with no rent, rates or utility bills.

Training and mentoring is also included, as well as the offer of a professional marketing campaign to help promote the area as a destination for lovers of quality street food. The aim is to create at least 14 new jobs from supporting these businesses (two jobs per business).

Councillor Toni Letts, cabinet member for economic development, said: “What better way to bring a vacant shop into use than by turning it into a vibrant, bustling eatery serving up quality street food which everyone can enjoy?

“There are not many markets like the one we have in Surrey Street. It’s a really fantastic resource which this project taps into, by ensuring all ingredients are sourced directly from the market.

“I’m sure this will be a very popular initiative, and I can’t wait to visit and try out the wonderful variety of cuisine on offer.”

Deputy Mayor for Business and Enterprise, Kit Malthouse, said: “The beauty of the Surrey StrEatery is that it is more than just a place for people to come to shop; they can eat, relax and socialise too.

“On the other side of the counter, valuable new jobs are being created for local people. As with high streets across London, the small businesses here are entirely unique and provide a great service to their customers whilst boosting local economies, which is exactly the sort of venture the Mayor is delighted to support.”

Release ends.

Release sender: Croydon Council

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