What Kind of Person Actually Eats at East London's Cereal Cafe?
Cereal Killer opened yesterday, so I went along to see who pays £3 for a bowl of Cheerios.
Yesterday, a cafe selling only cereal and cereal-based cakes opened in East London. This went down well with some people, but mostly very badly with everyone else.
Munchies, our food website, wasn't a fan; the Guardian questioned whether it would last; this blog called it the start of the "Bellend Apocalypse"; and in one of the most uncomfortable news segments of 2014, Channel 4 sent a reporter to ask the owners whether it really makes sense to charge £3 for a bowl of cereal in one the poorest parts of London.
However, the media aren't going to keep this place open; the only hope Cereal Killer has is that people will keep coming back to eat bowls of very expensive cereal once all the hype dies down. Yesterday afternoon, I went to meet some of these people.
VICE: What are you eating?
Melanie: These are Froot Loops with Lucky Charm marshmallows, and I'm drinking an Americano with hazelnut milk.
What do you think of it?
It's really good. It kind of reminds me of my childhood in the US. I haven't had Froot Loops in, like, 15 years. Being in England and having American cereal here takes me back. I haven't seen this stuff anywhere in the UK!
Are you going to come again?
Yeah, but maybe with a few friends. A lot of them are a little sceptical about this place, so I came to suss it out.
What have you got there?
The guy on the left: I was going to play it safe and get Reese's Puffs, as it's one of my favourite cereals, but then I saw that they had Reese's Puffs on top of a chocolate cake.
Does it take you back to your childhood?
Oh no, I started eating these after I started smoking weed.
So is this a good munchies spot?
No, because it's a bit sub-par. The Reese's Puffs are really soggy and the cake is a bit dry. I was joking earlier about making a huge scene in front of the camera crew.
So you won't be coming again?
No, probably not.
Are you guys on a date?
No! Well, kind of. We're together, so I guess you could call it a date. Yeah – it's a date.
Would you go on a first date here?
Absolutely. It'd be an ice breaker.
Would you come at night?
I think there's a novelty in that, coming late at night. I'd definitely do it. It'd be a nice place to stop by in the morning as well if you were working nearby.
Do you think Cereal Killers could ever replace kebabs as a go-to pissed snack?
Yeah, because cereal is something people crave – it's the sugar. I don't know how well Lucky Charms would mix with vodka, though. You'd have, like, multi-coloured sick.
Why did you guys come here today?
The lady on the right: My friend's travelling a lot and she's here for two days, so I was like, "Dude, if you're in London, we should go and do something a bit ridiculous."
What are you going to order?
There seems to be some really odd stuff. Especially the Adams Family one with the fake human hand in the box.
Do you think you'll come here often?
Well, it's a good idea, but at the end of the day there'll always be people who say, "That's so much money for a bowl of cereal when I can just have one at home." But it's the novelty factor, I think.
So you think it'll crash after the hype dies down?
No. It's on Brick Lane. There's not anything like it around. It's quirky enough, I think; it's going to be fine. Some people criticise this kind of thing, saying it's hipster stuff, and I'm like, "Well, it's fun!"
Has it been crazy busy today?
A waitress at Cereal Killers who wanted to remain anonymous: I've been rushed off my feet since we opened. It's been manic. We had a queue outside the door even before I started my shift. They must have been there from 6AM, because I got there at 6:30 and we opened at 7.
What have people been buying?
Mostly the American cereals. They're quite hard to come by in this country, and when you do they're quite expensive. We've also sold out of the South Korean Oreo cereal, which is very limited. We'll restock for tomorrow, though.
What kind of people come here?
Well, one guy turned up today with goth boots on and his own spoon. Who brings their own spoon to a cafe? He was seriously up for some cereal.