A cafe in Walthamstow, East London is making waves after one man tweeted that he spent £20 ($38) on a boiled egg, a single slice of toast, and a mug of tea.
Steve Parks, a writer and entrepreneur from London, shared a photo of his breakfast on Twitter.
But all was not as it seemed.
Eggs & Bread is a not-for-profit business operating on a “pay what you like, if you like” basis. That means customers who are financially struggling can elect to pay nothing at all for their breakfast, whilst those better off can pay more – as Steve Parks elected to.
The cafe opened in September last year, and serves just boiled eggs, homemade bread with butter, jam, honey, or marmite, dairy-free porridge, and tea or coffee. Customers boil the eggs and toast the bread themselves at a custom self-service station. At their discretion, they may leave money in a discrete box near where they return their dirty dishes and mugs. The business is designed to be accessible to all, “no matter if you are a city broker or simply broke.”
The enterprise – which is not a charity, paying its staff and buying its food – has shot to fame after being featured on BBC Radio London and on the BBC News website. The company’s ethos, “Everyone deserves a good start to the day”, has proved hugely popular amongst the local community.
“Eggs & Bread aims to be a place people want to go to, not somewhere to go as there’s no other choice,” says the website. “A nice environment allowing personal responsibility, and a bit of self-respect, being able to feel normal and equal to everyone else using it.”