Do you remember the track by Snap called Rhythm is a dancer? It was released in 1992, and I absolutely loved it. I bounced around more than a few warehouses and clubs listening to it when I was (much) younger. A few months back, after a visit to the Chequers, I was overcome by whimsy and bought the track from itunes. Last week whilst travelling with work, it popped in to my head phones, it filled my ears and took me right back to my bedroom where I would listen to the single over and over again. I was sitting on a tram from Manchester to Bury when the track came on, and I couldn’t help but reminisce as it played. As the tram crept out of the city, I sat thinking about how much had changed since 1992. I think I must be getting old, because I realised that I kind of enjoy remembering how things were, and seeing what they have since become. I had a similar feeling on Sunday, in Leyton of all places.
The sun was out and we had nothing much planned, so we wandered down to Queens Road Station and made the short train journey to Leyton Midland Road. Our destination was Project 660, the new cafe opened by Perky Blenders on Leyton High Road. What on earth does this have to do with Rhythm is a Dancer? Nothing much, other than that feeling I had on the metrolink in Manchester, the feeling of watching change happen, or in this case watching the growth and progress of a local business. I first met Tom from Perky Blenders on a cold day on Ravenswood industrial estate. He and his coffee van had popped up outside Mothers Ruin for the weekend. He told me about the plans he had for the newly formed business, and boy, has he exceeded them.
Project 660 is the latest venture for this hardworking independent business. Located next door to Leyton Midland Station, Project 660 is a coffee shop, training academy, and home to an impressive industrial grinder/coffee roaster. Being near the station, the shop is ideal for commuters heading to and from the train. With a few tables outside, and a really decent number of tables inside, it’s also a great spot to kick back and watch the world go by whilst you sip a coffee, hot chocolate or tea. The most you’ll pay for a coffee is £2.50, and a tea will cost you £2.00. Prices are around the same as Costa, but of course if you spend your pennies here, you are supporting a local business instead of a chain.
The new coffee shop seems a world away from that cold day on an industrial in Walthamstow when I first chatted with Tom. For this business to come as far as it has in a relatively short time is pretty impressive. As well as the coffee shop they also run a kiosk in Leytonstone Station, they pop up at events and locations across Waltham Forest, there’s a stall at the Village Market, and of course the delivery and retail business. Perky Blenders is proof that sometimes, hard work and relentless commitment pays off. I am unashamedly proud of what Perky Blenders have achieved, and it’s been a real pleasure watching this local business grow, I can’t wait to see what comes next for them.
OK, that’s enough gushing for now, back to the coffee shop. I realise I’m cheating a little by straying over the border in to Leyton. But the new Perky Blenders shop really isn’t that far from Walthamstow, you don’t need a passport to get to it, and the service and quality of the coffee makes it worth the trip. Get yourself to Leyton High Road, and support this latest phase in the life of a business that was born and bred in Walthamstow. To read more about Perky Blenders visit their website. Or click here to read about my first visit to the Perky Blenders van.