THE BUSINESSMAN at the centre of what has become known as the Starbucks controversy has rejected criticism of his Dalston library coffee-shop deal with Hackney council.
Gurkan Bozdere, who with his father runs the Sömine restaurant at Crossways in Kingsland High Street, said that contrary to reports by local bloggers and commentators, the café at the Dalston CLR James Library, due to open next year, will not be a Starbucks.
He told Loving Dalston: “The deal with Starbucks is not like the usual franchise. The only sign of the American company in the café will be one saying ‘We proudly serve Starbucks’
“I have not chosen a name for the venue – it may be just ‘the Dalston Library café’. But it will not be Starbucks. The café will have a school theme, with old-style classroom desks.
Asked why he did not consider a local supplier such as Climpson and Sons, Bozdere said he was not aware of the Broadway Market, Hackney firm.
Told that his winning the contract to run the venue in the library had also raised doubts among fellow Anglo-Turkish/Kurdish entrepreneurs, Bozdere, who was born in London 28 years ago, said: “I was always confident about how Hackney people would appreciate the idea once they understood the venture.”
He questioned whether it was fair that a report in the Hackney Citizen, a free newspaper, mentioned his name, without, so far as he knew, the writer’s making any attempt to contact him in the interests of balance.
“The approach I have seen by one local paper upset me extremely,” he said. “The reporter did not bother to seek my side of the story.”
David Altheer 151211
* Sömine, 107 Kingsland High Street, Lon E8 2PB (020 7254 7384 )
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