Café craziness: first breakfast cereals, now crisp sandwiches

Updated on 13 January 2015 | 0 Comments

One's serious, one's a joke, but both have been wildly successful.

Simply Crispy is a café with a difference. Inside, you can treat yourself to one of the world’s greatest sandwiches, made with a selection of breads, crisps and fillings.

And it all began as a joke.

Satire becomes reality

Satirical website The Ulster Fry made up a fictional crisp sandwich shop called Simply Crispy, saying that its (also fictional) owner Gavin Spleen was inspired by a café selling breakfast cereals set up in London during December. Mr Spleen hoped his offering would attract “similar success.”

Fiction became fact when Belfast eatery That Wee Café re-opened this week as Simply Crispy, offering a variety of crisp sandwiches served with soup and chips. On its first day it had already sold out of everything by 2.30pm – so it seems the joke has been turned around to the owners' great benefit!

Not as serious as cereal                     

Unlike the Belfast twins who run the Cereal Killer Café in Brick Lane, London, That Wee Café isn’t taking its offering all too seriously. I walked past the cereal place recently and saw a long queue of people waiting outside – in the rain – to get their bowlful. That Wee Café, on the other hand, has said on Twitter that “if you queue for a crisp sandwich, you need your head examined.”

It’s also mocking the over-the-top reaction from the media, tweeting: “The fact that the press are calling it the 'World's First' crisp sandwich cafe makes it all the more ridiculous #simplycrispy

It’s not clear yet how long the crisp sandwich theme will last, but if it continues to do well, residents of Belfast might be able to enjoy it as a permanent fixture of their city.

What’s next?

While the crisp sandwich café is only a temporary feature of That Wee Café, it probably won’t be too long before someone else thinks of a new theme to lure people in with. Here are a few ideas for themes that any budding entrepreneurs with a one-track mind might like the sound of.

Cookies & milk
The Cereal Killer Café boasts that customers can choose from 30 types of milk. There’s no reason a cookie specialist couldn’t offer a similar range for customers to dunk an equally wide choice of freshly baked cookies in. Especially good for the kids.

Fizzy drinks
As Cereal Killer proves, it’s possible to sell sickly sweet US cereals to UK punters. So why not have a café selling an enormous range of carbonated beverages imported from around the world? You could serve them with something like sandwiches, but the real focus would be on the drinks. And you could install a few treadmills to help customers burn off their sugar rush.

Bacon & beer
My favourite idea. All kinds of bacon: smoked, unsmoked, streaky, candied bacon, maple-glazed bacon, bacon in a bap, bacon in a sandwich (customer choice of bread). And beer to wash it down with. I think this one really could take off, though there would have to be an alternative offered for vegetarians…

Got any good ideas for a novelty café? Will the crisp sandwich and cereal cafés endure, or will their customers get bored quickly? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.

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