Community embraces Beckenham coffee shop with local touch
16:07 23 August 2012
In the centre of Beckenham the scent of fresh coffee is tantalising the nostrils of those who walk along the High Street.
Fee and Brown is a new coffee house with an emphasis on becoming part of the community by providing local produce to local people.
North Londoners Del and Ercan Nazim, a married couple, took a leap of faith with an area they fell in love with while visiting friends.
Ordering furniture before they had even secured the lease, the start-up was quick and seems to have carried a momentum that shows little sign of slowing.
Owner Del, 40, said: “We were just visiting friends and saw the place. We had been looking closer to home in places like Muswell Hill but we thought this would make a great coffee house for Beckenham.
“It’s a lovely street and we see lots of families coming and going. Plus, we loved the view of the church across the street for our customers to enjoy.”
The buzz in Beckenham has been great and a small army of followers on Twitter have spread word of the coffee house.
Though the pair travel in every morning from north to south London, they have quickly adapted to Beckenham.
From Kentish crisps to cakes baked at home by local mums, Fee and Brown has a family feel to it after just eight weeks since opening.
Del said: “Becoming parents recently triggered more of a want to do something like this. We wanted a space easy for mums and dads, but we also wanted to keep everything very localised.
“We have two ladies who came in and made cakes for us and they’re continuing to do that. It’s really important to give back to the community.
“When you are a family-run business it’s not about going out there and getting the best price, it’s about supporting the people who support you.”
Coffee is delivered three times a week to ensure customers are served only the freshest beans from a selection of what is in season.
A team of staff overseen by Australian manager Marcus McCombe range from fully fledged baristas to trainees all learning from his laid-back approach to coffee.
The experience offered is heightened by the small touches offered with no expense spared by Del and Ercan such as the flavoured water provided on arrival that is meant to cleanse the palate in order to better taste the coffee.
Ercan, 40, said: “Without a clean palate it’s difficult to taste the fruits and flavours in our coffee.
“It’s become like wine, people are so knowledgeable about their coffee now because they experience high quality when working in the city.
“People are saying to us that a place like this is overdue in the area and it’s made us feel so welcome. We feel like we’re part of the community already.”
So confident in the quality of her coffee, Del claims that many will have never tasted anything like it because of the way high street chains burn their beans.
She said: “A lot of people say they don’t like coffee and I didn’t either, but when you taste real coffee it’s totally different. The flavours in there are just not like anything you buy in the big places.”
From the height of the tables for parents with buggies to the name of the shop – a combination of their son’s name Efe and the coffee – the shop is filled with warmth.
Del added: “I think it’s our Mediterranean heritage – we just want to feed everyone up and make them part of the family.”