Cafe Crema, an independently owned vegetarian cafe, closed its doors earlier this month.
The New Cross fixture was known for its hearty soups, cosy atmosphere and a garden inhabited by ducks.
The cafe was a popular haunt for Goldsmiths students, community members and local residents seeking an affordable menu in a unique independent environment. It first opened in 2004. A new cafe will take its place.
Despite growing competition from chains like Costa and Subway, owner Chris Boddington said the cafe “survived happily” because most customers were “attracted by its independence”.
Boddington added that although New Cross “has become one large coffee shop”, the reasons for closing were strictly personal. Boddington’s wife and Cafe Crema co-owner Kiri Lewin was offered a job at a law firm in Bristol.
The couple does not plan to open another cafe. “After nearly 11 years, I need a break,” Boddington said.
Goldsmiths student and Cafe Crema regular Alex Sims said she was sad to see it go. She said the cafe’s closing signals a larger shift in the neighbourhood. “Cafe Crema had a nice feel to it – the one thing I noticed when I first moved to New Cross was that all the businesses were small and independent. Now we can see Subways and Costas opening everywhere. [Cafe Crema] closing shows the New Cross that I knew is eroding,” Sims said.
The cafe also provided a platform for local artists and actively supported the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
In a handwritten notice to customers, the owners thanked the community for their support and wished the cafe’s future owners “all the best”. Boddington encourages the community to support the new cafe.
He also confirmed the ducks will not be moving.
Cafe Crema’s final day of trading was April 11.