Pass the Milk

Moo’d Cereal House - Leeds

Take two bearded brothers with a rather hipstery vibe. Add a cafe that exclusively sells an eclectic mix of cereal. Put that cafe in a relatively poor area of London. Mix it all together and you have the fuel to start a heated debate that has drawn in the newspapers, channel 4 and even a politician or two.

Ever since the ‘Cereal Killer Cafe’ opened its door on Brick Lane, theres been a lot of heated discussion about purchasing bowls of cereal like you would a coffee or a sandwich. Some people thinks it abhorrent that cereal is being sold for £3-£4 a bowl, while others view it as just another example of rising social inequality in the Capital.

The whole concept of gentrification is kind of a hot topic in London at the moment with the high cost of living and rising rents forcing poorer people to move away from newly desirable postcodes. These bearded, young hipstery types are viewed as facilitating the process, bringing their overpriced commercial activities and shoving it in the face of those less well off (to summarise a lot of what has been said in the press…).

Its funny how the opening of a cafe that exclusively sells cereal could spark such social outrage. You sort of feel sorry for the cereal brothers, who probably spotted a gap in the market and decided to exploit it. Their entrepreneurial spirit has sort of been shrouded by those who are calling into question their business ethics.

If you watched our episode on Moo’d Cereal House, you’ll know that our view was fairly indifferent. We all go out and buy food and drink that we could make or prepare at home for a fraction of the price and yet we still go out and stand in line for our macchiatos and lunchtime baps. Regardless of your thoughts on the ethics of cereal cafes, why not let consumers decide whether they want a bowl or not.

Ethics aside, you have to admire Moo’d co-founders Jen and Zoe. Fresh out of uni, they bit the bullet and set up their own cafe. Born out of their love for cereal, Moo’d Cereal House is a fine purveyor of international cereals (and waffles, and coffee - they’re pretty diverse actually). Located in student-heavy Headingley, you might argue that the cereal cafe is in an ideal location. Traditionally, the kebab shop is the alcohol-fuelled, eatery of choice - but the rise of the cereal cafe provides post-club revellers with an alternative choice.

Whether cereal cafes become a permanent feature of our high streets remains to be seen. But we felt right at home tucking into one of Moo’d’s cereal ‘cocktails’. For Jen and Zoe, we hope success doesn’t require hipster beards and heated debate in the national press. But should Channel 4 come knocking on their door asking awkward questions, we’d suggest they sit them down with a ‘May Contain Nuts’ or a ‘Cookie Monster’ and show them what its all about. Nom nom nom.