Catherine Marcus 0

***Save Madre Tierra Walthamstow***

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Dear Chris Robbins,

We, the undersigned, would like to state our strong opposition to the closing of the Madre Sierra, the small coffee shop right outside Walthamstow Central tube. It is run by a lovely man called Alex, who moved here from Sardinia some years ago. He set up his business and wakes up 4.30am every single morning to serve coffee for 5.30am to tired commuters. 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.

He works incredibly hard for not very much money, and he does it because he cares about his customers – how many business owners can say that?

We have been told by him that the outside entrance of Walthamstow Tube is being paved over and his business is being shut down. He has stated that if this goes ahead, he will have no choice but to return to Italy, despite the years he has spent here building up a successful small business.

Viable businesses that serve their customer and pay their taxes are the lifeblood of our economy. 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. Yet all Alex is getting here is a kick in the teeth and blank indifference to his fate, despite everything he has done for the people of Walthamstow over the years.

We are appalled and saddened by this, and hope that by making our voices heard, we can persuade you and the local councillors to change your minds, so that Alex can continue to work where he does now, creating a little oasis of brightness, colour, charm and warmth to our cold drizzly mornings, and lighting up a dreary corner of Walthamstow tube.

Respectfully yours,

The Undersigned

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