Kensal Rise deli Minkies wins contract to run café inside Queen’s Park
- Credit: Archant
The owner of a deli in Kensal Rise says he is “over the moon” after he won the contract to run the café located in Queen’s Park.
Minkies was picked by bosses at the City of London Corporation (CLC) as it offered “the most economically advantageous tender” out of nine companies that placed a bid.
CLC, which manages Queen’s Park, put the contract out to tender in a shake up of all cafés located in its parks and green spaces across London.
Doron Atzmon, owner of in Chamberlayne Road, said: “It’s amazing news. I’m over the moon.We are going to bring all of our healthy, good quality food and delicious coffee to Queen’s Park. There will be the classic ice creams and ice lollies but with a healthy twist and we are also planning a frozen yoghurt machine for the children’s play park.”
Mr Atzmon is also planning to open a deli shop on the site to offer visitors the chance to buy fresh bread, cheese and snacks for picnicking along with fresh cakes and pastries.
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He added: “We’ll be installing a pizza oven and a barbecue for the summer weekends as well as running events every month and pop-up stalls around the park.
“We’re a family business and we want to make sure we’re part of the community.”
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Last year Minkies opened a second branch inside Kilburn tube station, bringing Mr Atzmon’s chain of local businesses to five, including Brooks butchers, also on Chamberlayne Road.
Mr Atzmon, 48, says he will also be making his signature range of Israeli and Mediterranean dishes along with Sunday Roasts with the help of a new community vegetable patch.
The Queen’s Park café will also offer cooked English breakfasts.
The café, which will be open as a pop-up juice and coffee stand on the forecourt from May, will undergo a “beautiful” makeover before opening its doors to the public in June.
Minkies will retain the café’s two members of staff and will also be bringing in new waiting staff during the busy spring and summer months.
Emanuele Marangoni, 28, who works as a waiter in Queen’s Park Café said: “It’s good that it’s changing I think, it’s a nice place to work in the park and I think we’ll be fine”, while Bianca Turnea,26, who has worked at the café for a year said she was told about the decision to award the contract to Minkies three days ago.
She said: “It’s a nice place to work here and Minkies does good food- I used to live in Kensal Rise and I used to go there. It will be a good thing I think.”
Addressing concerns raised by Cllr James Denselow, councillor for Queen’s Park, that prices could rise if the café changed hands, Mr Atzmon said: “Of course we are going to make sure it is affordable for everyone and we want to ensure that no one is excluded so we are going to cater for the elderly and mums with kids too.”
The monthly community events will focus on food, horticulture and the local area.
One regular customer lunching at the Queen’s Park café told the Brent & Kilburn Times: “I’m a regular customer and I have a young child, for me this place and the food were getting pretty tired. Frankly I’m glad someone else is egtting a chance to come in.”
Sue Ireland, Director of Green Spaces at the City of London Corporation, said: “Minkies is a popular local café with a real understanding of the local market and it is committed to a programme of community engagement.
“We want to make sure our visitors are getting high quality, healthy food and refreshments, with the best possible service.
“We have ensured throughout this process that the winning tender will be able to demonstrate not only high quality refreshments, but also that they can offer a service which is at the heart of the local community.”
Customers of a café located in Parliament Hill have set up a petition to stop the family who have been running it for 33 years being kicked out after catering chain Benugo won the contract from CLC.