There With You: Coronavirus-hit Chamomile Cafe in Belsize Village looking to donate 900 eggs to a good cause

Chamomile Cafe in Belsize Village. Picture: Chamomile Cafe

Chamomile Cafe in Belsize Village. Picture: Chamomile Cafe - Credit: Archant

After shutting up shop to help protect staff and customers from the coronavirus pandemic, the owners of at the Chamomile Cafe in Belsize Park have been left with an unusual problem: They have 900 eggs they can’t use.

Co-owner Irit Reed, who took over the long-running cafe with her husband three years ago, said she had offered the eggs to the NHS locally, but they had not been able to accept them due to the number of donations received already – and instead she has appealed for other good causes in the area to get in touch if they could use the eggs.

She said: “Now we have these 900 eggs which will be wasted. The date on the first ones to go out is April 7, but on a personal basis, as long as you check the eggs they’ll be alright longer.

“It would be heartbreaking to put them in the bin.”

Irit also told the Ham&High how closing had only added to the difficult business environment within the food and hospitality industry. She said: “

She added; “The hospitality business has been tough for the last 18 months. We stopped on Monday (March 23) when it was made clear that we would be putting our customers in danger, albeit not intentionally. You can take all of the advice but you are still sharing the same air as everyone else. The majority of our team would have had to travel in on public transport too. I can’t tell you how difficult that decision was.”

Irit said the government furlough scheme and grant were helpful, but she was concerned about taking on more debt during the crisis.

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She continued: “The government and the big banks are really pushing loans. Small businesses already have debt. We don’t want to increase our debt in such uncertain times. We can’t take that extra pressure. Is normality going to be back by September? Are people going to be able to afford coffee and a cake?

“We pray that we will be able to re-open the doors as soon as possible. Whenever that may be, but we have no way of knowing.”

To get in touch with Irit about collecting eggs for your good cause, contact Meanwhile, the cafe’s crowdfunding page is at