Belfast Telegraph

Cereal Killer cafe owner snaps back after Channel 4 reporter has pop at prices

By Amanda Ferguson

One of the Belfast entrepreneurs behind the Cereal Killer cafe, the UK's first cereal-only cafe, has snapped back at Channel 4 for attacking the new business over the price it charges in a poor borough of east London.

Gary Keery and his twin brother Alan opened the cafe last week in Brick Lane amidst a blaze of publicity.

The brothers are charging £3.20 for a bowl of cereal at the Shoreditch-based business.

A Channel 4 News report on 'quirky cafes' which aired last week saw Gary Keery abruptly end an interview with journalist Symeon Brown after he asked how the business justified charging such an amount in an area where many local residents would be unable to afford it.

Following the broadcast and a series of online posts from the public in support of and against the cafe, Mr Brown defended his report.

"A question on pricing in poor neighbourhood was fair," he wrote on Twitter. "Good luck to @CerealKillerUK."

But Gary Keery was not prepared to let the matter drop, so drafted a witty open letter to Channel 4 about "unfair" treatment and posted it on Facebook.

The letter has since been viewed and shared by tens of thousands of people.

"I am a small business owner and am gambling everything I have in this business and you try to make a mockery out of me 4 days after 'small business saturday' when we are supposed to support small businesses," the Northern Ireland man wrote.

"I have a million things going on in my head and one of those things was about helping local charities as I am not the selfish **** you have made me out to be, although on my opening day I will admit it was not the most important thing for me.

"I have already been contacted by charities to provide breakfasts for underprivileged children in the area and I will be doing this come January but I wanted to get my cafe open and running first."

Mr Keery goes on to say that Channel 4 should "not forget Canary Wharf is also in this borough", adding that he is from a socially deprived area of Belfast and is trying to make a future for himself.

"Maybe if I charged over £3 for a coffee and dodged all the taxes in this country like some cafes - the reporters would leave me alone would they?"

The letter ends with colourful comments from the Belfast man saying he is too busy to solve the poverty crisis in London as he is working on a cure for Ebola and trying to get US celebrity Kim Kardashian "to keep her clothes on".

He also notes that Channel 4 did not pay for the bowl of cereal its team ordered and signs off "Yours sincerely Gary Keery (the worst person in the world)."

Last week Gary and Alan Keery, identical twins from Belfast, opened the UK's first cafe selling nothing but cereal.

Story so far

Customers of the east London cafe have a choice of 13 types of milk and 120 cereals from around the world. During a Channel 4 News report last week on Cereal Killer's opening day, Gary Keery ended an interview with Symeon Brown after he asked him to justify charging £3.20 for a bowl of cereal in one of the poorest boroughs in London.

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