Intrepid Bakers

Hornsey - 38 High St, London N8 7NX | Tufnell Park - 163 Fortess Rd, London NW5 2HR

All in the family

From a family of Greek bakers that stretches back 85 years, a local cafe brings homemade goods to Hornsey.

Meletios Evdokias has travelled a long way to open a cafe on Hornsey High Street. Originally from Greece, he came to London in 2011 with dreams of starting his own business. Intrepid Bakers is the result of his hard work, energy and investment.

Focused on fresh food, the Mediterranean-influenced cafe has a kitchen turning out a large range of home-baked goods which changes monthly. Baking is an 85-year-old tradition in Meletios’ family. “It’s something I grew up around,” he tells me. That’s evident in the surroundings. The front window displays some of the products they sell – everything from loaves and cakes to cinnamon swirls and breadsticks.

Meletios explains that it was his uncle Dimitrios who inspired his career path. A successful businessman in his native Greece, Dimitrios founded a bakery company with a range of products sold in supermarkets. It is this very same uncle who sometimes travels to London to work in his nephew’s kitchen. “He is my mentor and he is the one who passed on these recipes and this passion for the bakery,” explains Meletios. The breadsticks, for instance, are a longstanding family recipe and the sourdough bread is made from an organic starter brought all the way from his homeland.

A recent addition is the Mediterranean loaf, a bread made with balsamic vinegar and lots of olive oil. It gets served with the Greek scrambled eggs, a tomato-based dish that includes pepper, onions, herbs and feta. One of their signature dishes – pragmatically called the “no-name dessert” – is made with filo pastry, condensed milk, marzipan, shaved almonds and icing sugar.

Meletios likes being creative in the kitchen and inventing dishes that have a Greek twist. Despite having busy periods since the cafe opened three years ago, the business faces challenges. This includes a competitive high street, local road closures last year and the political situation (yes, that means Brexit). “Everything affects the business one way or another,” he admits.

Nevertheless there are future ambitions. He’d like to grow his own herbs, an alcohol licence is coming and he’s hoping to serve afternoon tea (with prosecco) in his garden, which includes a play area for children. Sometimes you will see his own daughter Iris in the cafe, happily munching on a breadstick. Meanwhile, his wife Alexandra runs their social media and decorates cakes, so the business is very much a family affair. And, yes, his uncle is proud.

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