I’m a firm believer that breakfast cereal can, and should, be enjoyed anywhere and any time of the day.
Fuck the rules, I want to neck bowls of Krave at warehouse raves; I want to sit in posh restaurants and be served textures of Golden Graham, or Frosties three ways; I want to walk into cafés and see the Coco Pops Monkey winking back at me salaciously from behind the counter.
In a city where you can eat testicles for lunch, why is that not a reality? Thanks to two 32-year-old identical twin brothers from Belfast, it soon will be.
Gary and Alan Keery got their lightbulb moment for the UK’s first cereal cafe whilst contemplating lunch options in Shoreditch one day last year. Realising a gap in the market they conducted some market research and began seeking funding.
After a failed Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign and two bank rejections they finally secured a loan from Virgin Startup and set up shop at 139 Brick Lane.
Open to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner from December 10, the Cereal Killer Café will offer more than 100 types of cereal from around the world, accompanied by 13 varieties of milk and 20 different toppings.
As Gary explains, it’s a concept rooted in childhood nostalgia: “Remember when you were a kid and your Mum would leave you in the cereal aisle and let you choose one box of cereal? When you’re eight years old that’s the biggest decision you have to make. Which cereal do you choose? We want to recreate that in the café.”
Whilst the cereal café concept is new to the UK, it’s been part of American culinary culture for some time, and was immortalised in the 2007 rom-com Flakes.
The Cereal Killer experience promises to be a truly immersive one, thanks to the hoard of cereal-related memorabilia the Keerys have sourced from car-boot sales and online auctions.
“We’ve got a wall of every cereal box that we sell – that’s the menu,” says Gary. “All the interior is going to be covered wall to wall with cereal memorabilia. Vintage cereal boxes from the eighties and nineties, everything from Powerpuff Girls to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, to Disney to the Addams Family. We’ve got all the toys you would get inside them – the pencil toppers, the bike reflectors, money boxes, cookie jars, skateboards, kites. We’ve got everything Tony the Tiger and everything Honey Monster. We want people to remember what cereal was like when they were kids.”
Prices range from £2.50 for a small bowl of cereal, to £3.50 for a large one.
Sourced from as far afield as the USA and South Korea, cereals on offer include Reeses Puffs, Cocoa Pebbles, Strawberry Pops and Toffee Crisp, as well as five different peanut butter variations.
Gary’s personal recommendation is gluten-free Vanilla Chex from the USA: “Have them with strawberry milk and its like eating strawberries and cream”.
For the more adventurous there will be cereal cocktails on the menu, or if cereal just isn’t your bag then get your head around 18 different flavours of Pop-Tart.
For the traditionalists out there, toast, spreads and coffee will also be a staple part of the menu.
Featured photo by Josh Puleston