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Customers launch bid to save coffee kiosk at Walthamstow Central
Customers of a coffee kiosk which faces closure have started a petition calling for it to be saved.
Madre Tierra has been serving commuters outside Walthamstow Central station for the last four years.
But owner Alessandro Pinna says Waltham Forest Council plan to close the shop when the area outside the station is paved.
Mr Pinna, who moved to London from Sardinia, believes his business would not survive elsewhere.
He said: “The other shops received a notice months ago saying that the station is going to expand and have units inside it.
“They gave around eight months notice.
“I could not afford to rent one of those units and I would not need all of the space.
“This is my life. I love it here and, if I moved, I don’t think I would get the same custom.
“I cannot believe the support that I am getting from the people here. I am so grateful.”
Catherine Marcus, a customer for two years, has begun a petition. It already has 400 signatures.
She said: “Hard-working immigrants like Alex, who have taken a chance, come to a new country to set up shop and build a life here, who contribute to their community and make life better for everyone around them, should be congratulated and rewarded for playing their part in building a better, more cohesive community.
“He knows us all by name, he knows our orders, he knows our children’s orders and he provides a warm, personalised service which is miles away from the robotic corporate experience most of us have whenever we enter into the identical shops that make up our high streets.
“I remember grabbing a coffee for the first time and noticing the incredible animal sculptures and how everyone in the queue was laughing and chatting with the guy who was making the coffee.
“It was a really nice vibe and put a smile on my face.
“We have been told by him that the outside entrance of Walthamstow Tube is being paved over and his business is being shut down.”
Mr Pinna says that the he has “given his life” to the small business and is hoping that Waltham Forest Council will offer an alternative solution, such as allowing him to set up a mobile kiosk.
To view the petition click here.
Waltham Forest Council has been asked to comment.