IT’S the cafe at the heart of Portsmouth’s North End – and the owner of Cafe Nut says that’s where he intends on staying.
The family-run cafe, in London Road, has been owned by Khaled Sleman for the past five years and in that time it has found itself competing with national chain Costa, which opened a few doors down.
However, they say that the competition has actually proved healthy for the cafe, keeping them on their toes and pushing them to be the best, and that the area is on the up, thanks to increased footfall, especially since Lidl took over the former Co-op.
Hussain Khasrow, Khaled’s cousin, runs the front of house at the cafe.
The 25-year-old said: ‘We thought it would affect us but actually they do something completely different to us. We are all about good quality breakfast and lunch, freshly cooked.
‘Lidl has been perfect for us as it has brought us business. People go shopping and they can park for free and they pop in for something to eat or a coffee. Lidl has brought business to every shop in North End.’
Khaled, 39, is originally from Kurdistan but he moved to Europe to pursue his dream of working in catering. He worked as a chef in Sweden for two years before moving to Hampshire to be near family.
He took over the cafe five years ago and he set about bringing in his way of doing things. He redesigned the cafe and says he prides himself on his menu, which he keeps affordable with nothing costing more than £7.50, including a mega breakfast of mushrooms, beans, chips, two eggs, two rashers of bacon, bubble and squeak, sausage and two slices of toast.
Khaled, dad of three young children, said he loves being at the heart of North End.
He said: ‘The community is really nice. It is a very friendly place.
‘I used to run a cafe in Leigh Park called Cafe Dilan. I ran that for about four years and was looking for something different. I saw Cafe Nut was up for sale so I bought it and started to make it my own – and I haven’t looked back.’
Cafe Nut is open seven days a week – Monday to Saturday 7.30am until 5pm and Sunday 9am until 3pm.
Portsmouth is on the up with a record number of businesses opening and new events being held in the city.
The News is celebrating this exciting time with our City Buzz campaign as we are proud of our city and its vibrancy.
If you would like to nominate a new business or event, e-mail email@example.com or call (023) 9262 2118.