Bake St is an independent speciality coffee shop serving teas, freshly baked goods, breakfast and lunches. At Street Eats they will be serving tacos with three different fillings. Read our interview with Feroz Gajia, Founder of Bake St, below.
Describe your relationship with food in three words.
Infatuation, obsession & pleasure.
If you weren’t a cafe owner what would you be doing? Tell us about your journey.
I’d be a development cook or a private chef. There’s nothing I enjoy more than creating something new with someone in mind. Having spent time in IT and the sciences, food was always my creative outlet. Having the opportunity to combine both of these elements by working in restaurants like Bao made me understand how much joy could be derived from doing small things well and pleasing people with the results.
What would be your last supper or your last meal on earth be if you could choose?
A never ending parade of delights from around the world. I know it sounds like a cop out but I’d want to experience as many flavours, textures and tastes before I shuffle off my mortal coil.
Who would you love to cook for (past or present)?
Junya Yamasaki (ex-Koya) who is just the nicest and most genuine chef, full of wonderment and interest in everything. Or my late grandfather who used to take me shopping for exotic fruits when I was young. He would tell me about his time in the Caribbean when he first tried a lot of them.
What is your foodie guilty pleasure?
I don’t think anything you enjoy should be deemed a guilty pleasure. But if it’s something I shouldn’t be enjoying then I’d say cheap versions of fancy things and vice versa. At the moment the obsession is definitely with fried chicken in all its guises, pressure fried from the chicken shop, eating every part of the chicken Taiwanese style at Bigbe or free range chicken twice fried Korean style from the Bake Street test kitchen.
What’s been the hardest thing so far?
Long hours and all encompassing days. Being at Bake St 6-7 days a week for 12-14 hours a day and then having to spend your evenings planning the next day, week, month and year is hugely draining. It means you can sometimes get caught in your own bubble so it’s crucial to find time for other things even if it is easier said than done.
What’s been the highlight so far?
Family meal. Being able to sit down with everyone and eat something different and just chat for a little bit without any stress. They don’t happen quite as often as Bake Street has gotten busier but they are always a pleasure. That and keeping up with the regular community of people that visit almost every day.
What advice would you give to people who are thinking of starting their own street food business?
Plan, plan and plan. And then be prepared to throw it all out the window when you start trading. Also, unless you have a clear product and vision be willing to try out new ideas. That first year will be where you start to find your niche, enjoy it.
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Find Bake St at Street Eats on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th July 2017. Register for your free ticket here.