The owner of The Larder in Winchmore Hill is enjoying life in business, writes Dana Burstow
Michael Ioannou’s beaming smile and the smell of great, fresh coffee, welcomes every customer as they walk through the door into the warm, compact café.
“I’m a foodie so anywhere that is food-centric excites me,” says Michael, owner of The Larder in Winchmore Hill.
Customers come for delicious food cooked to order with the freshest ingredients, served at scrubbed wood tables under Scandi style lighting. Some linger longer, enjoying the relaxed atmosphere, while others nip in for a quick take-out to fortify them on the way to the station.
Michael, Enfield born and raised, tells the story of how his business got off the ground three-and-a-half years ago: “The Larder was a shop I walked past a couple of times and looked at longingly, wishing I’d have a chance to open and run something similar.
“As soon as I found out it was on the market I went for it.”
It hasn’t all been plain sailing though. As a first business “it has been a big learning curve with some tough lessons,” says Michael. “The good moments have far outweighed the tough though.” Michael has developed his green fingers too, caring for the charming courtyard garden which traps the sun.
“Over time the business has evolved into a café, coffee shop, deli, and wine merchants – we do some catering and private hire for small functions and have recently begun doing pop-up restaurants.”
Everyone loves a pop-up, don’t they? Something They’re new and interesting with a sense you might miss something if you’re not there – which is indeed the case judging by the sell-out success of the first event run by talented local chef Holly Ashdown. Details of upcoming events are available on eatwith.com
Treats available are own-brand speciality coffee roasted in Wood Green, fresh bread and pastries from Holtwhites bakery, own-brand pâtés, raw basil pesto, and more. London beekeeper’s honey, teas, and Italian panettone for Christmas, will be in stock soon.
Quality and customer service depends on a strong team. Michael smiles and says it’s like a family – not least because, he says: “I’ve been lucky to have mum with me, she cooks in the shop, makes the soups and cakes from home and generally keeps me in check.”
Aren’t mums great?