‘Food for your soul’ KES Foods in Chrisp Street market
We meet Augustina, founder of KES Publishing who is creating home cooked, socially minded Caribbean food in Chrisp Street market. Profits from the food go back into supporting free creative writing workshops for adults and young people.
What is KES foods?
KES foods is one of the ways we share culture. Look out for our purple tent in Chrisp Street market – the funds we make from selling food at the stall go towards offering people free creative writing courses. When you buy from us, you’re buying into an idea, a dream. I’m also an English teacher and want to raise literacy standards. We took a group of young people to the West End to see Chicago the theatre show. We also have a project called Reconnect through Writing, for adults and we created poetry books.
I enjoy sharing Caribbean culture, and introduce people with free taste tests.
We have a mailing list, so we tell people what dishes we’ll have each day and find out what people want. We’re planning on starting a delivery service to make it convenient for our customers. We also do events, like Christenings and weddings.
How did you come to Chrisp Street?
We first came to Chrisp Street market 6 months ago, as part of the Creative Exchange, selling books and food. In April we started our stall here in the market. There’s a diverse range of people here, I feel people have taken me in, they suggest ideas for promotion and give out leaflets. People have got on board and want to see it succeed.
What makes your food stand out?
The love that goes into it! One of our sayings is ‘We’re a tasty solution’ – which links to the other side of our company, and being part of a solution.
I cook healthy, hearty meals and cook like I do at home, like I would for my family, using high quality ingredients. Everything is cooked fresh each day – if I have leftover food at the end of the day, I give it to homeless people.
Tell us something fun or interesting about you
I’m a joker! You can always get a laugh from me that’s for sure. I believe in positivity – what you put out comes back to you, as smile can break so much and make change. I like it here, I meet really interesting people, people come and share, all the relationships I build up with people, customers will sit down for a chat.
What’s your favourite item on the menu?
Well, I’m a pescatarian (I eat fish but not meat). But everyone else’s favourite is curry goat and rice. My favourite would be a fish dish!
What would you say to people who haven’t tried Caribbean food before?
It’s definitely worth a try – if you’ve not tried it, it’s best to try curry goat, it’s spicy but not hot. We do free taste tests, some people assume it will be hot and peppery. You can taste a piece of the Caribbean – it puts you in the Caribbean, someone who had our food said it took him back to being in Barbados. All the Caribbean islands food is more or less the same, but with little tweaks, like in Barbados they add a bit of sugar. Ours is a fusion of Dominican and Jamaican.
Have you got any final thoughts?
Support us – when you buy food from us, you’re not just buying food, it’s for youth projects and for young people, the people of tomorrow. It’s also for the ordinary person – to empower with our stories, everyday life things triumphed over and come through.
Wow! I was lucky enough to have a taste test on my visit to KES Foods, it was sensational! I tried the curried goat which was perfectly tender. We had a chat about people sometimes being put off at the thought of goat, or that it will be really tough. The spices, taste and quality of the meat is well worth a warming lunch on a cold day in Chrisp Street – especially on a day when you could do with an extra smile!
Find KES Foods in the purple tent near Shoe Zone, Ken’s fruit and veg stall and J Miller Furniture (right near the Post Office). They are there Thursdays and Fridays.
For further details about KES and links to books and poetry available to purchase, please visit:
KES Foods: K.firstname.lastname@example.org / 07506 437221