The Cereal Killer café in London's Shoreditch has defended its position after coming under attack from protesters against "gentrification" on Saturday night.
The café, which was opened this year by Northern Irish brothers Gary and Alan Keery, and is the sister site to the group's new Camden location, sells bowls of cereals for upwards of £3.20, including everything from cornflakes and chocolate rice pops to rarer varieties from abroad.
On Saturday night, protestors calling themselves the "#f**kparade" on Facebook as part of the anarchist group named Class War, allegedly set fire to an effigy of a police officer, painted the word "scum" on the window of the shop, lit fires and sticks, and reportedly threw a "smoke bomb" into the café's doorway. One police officer was injured and one person arrested.
Talking to The Caterer today, Gary Keery (pictured) said: I'm still trying to take it all in, it's kind of unbelievable. It just seems pointless. It was violence for the sake of violence. They're just using us as a scapegoat. People see us as poster boys for hipsters in Shoreditch and gentrification, but we're just two working class boys from Belfast trying to make a living."
Responding to criticism of the shop's prices, he said: "We're not going to let people bully us or close our shop. If you don't like it, don't come. I can't afford a Bentley, but I'm not going to go and tear up the Bentley showroom. If the majority of people disagreed with us, then we wouldn't be in business. And if you don't agree, go to Tesco, buy own-brand cornflakes, and go home and have your own cereal. It's a bit of fun, and business is still going well. We've got some new things up our sleeve."
On the subject of gentrification of the area more generally, he said: "I'm not a politician. All I know is my business. If people have a problem with gentrification, speak to someone who can deal with the problem. I can't solve the problem and I'm not the cause of it, so don't target us."
Quoted in http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/sep/27/shoreditch-cereal-cafe-targeted-by-anti-gentrification-protesters" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">The Guardiantoday, the protest group commented: "We don't want pop-up gin bars or brioche buns - we want community". Another commentator on Twitter said: "They're destroying where we live and rubbing our noses in it with stupid places like @CerealKillerUKâ¦ No attempt to fit in, or respect the people who live here."