Once upon a time you knew your area was on the receiving end of 'gentrification' if a coffee chain opened a branch on your High Street. Londoners are smart, however, and the tide has been turning for some time against global coffee chains, especially those who might not be paying the amount of UK tax on profits as they should.
The sentiment is especially strong in Kentish Town, where the local community recently rejected plans by Starbucks to open a branch on Kentish Town Road. So it was surprising for outsiders to see a news story just weeks later heralding the opening of a new coffee shop on the very same stretch of road.
Hypercritical, you might say. But for Kentish Town residents, it's not about the coffee, it's about the corporate charge on their High Street.
The opening in June of Nature's Garden is completely reflective of the type of business Kentish Town embraces. Far more than just another coffee house, the shop will be an independently-run business purveying fruit and vegetables sourced from farms in the South East and gluten-free baked goods, alongside a perfectly blended cup of organic coffee. They'll also be comfortable seating, high-speed wifi, an alcohol licence and late opening until 8pm.
Nature's Garden will be run by a local North West London businessman with a vested interest in the community. While his coffee might be on a par with Starbucks and his pastries better than Greggs, for instance, the fact that his application to open was met with no objection speaks volumes.
Nature’s Garden, described by its owner Onic Bozoglu as a place to buy coffee, eat freshly made food and buy organic fruit and vegetables, is set to open in June in a former furniture store at the junction of Kentish Town Road and Prince of Wales Road.