Lloyd Po**ck says lots of people have asked him if he’s mad opening a café right now. “I try not to think about the virus when I’m going to sleep.” PHOTO: DANN PETTERSSON
Lloyd Po**ck opened the doors to his new café in Kallio, Helsinki, on Friday morning. “Better than sitting at home waiting,” he says about opening in the middle of the corona crisis.
At a time when lots of other restaurants and cafés are staying closed during the corona crisis, Lloyd Po**ck is choosing to open a new one.
“It’s an interesting time to open,” says Lloyd Po**ck.
The café is not a rushed decision or a new idea. He has been looking for a suitable place for more than a year. Finally he found a cosy spot on Pengerkatu Street in Kallio.
“The location was perfect, the timing was perfect – then came the corona virus.”
Instead of waiting for better times, he decided to open now.
“The question was whether we should wait ’till the corona crisis was over. But that would have meant sitting at home doing nothing. ̈In for a penny in for a pound”.
For as long as we are living under a state of emergency and with restrictions there is a limit to what can be done. Like all other restaurants and cafés, serving food inside is prohibited.
“We will be selling muffins, pies and bagels at first. Products that suit being bought out and taken home. Once everything is back to normal, we’ll also be selling meat pies, chocolate-chili cake, ginger cake, ice cream, and so on.”
The café will use local ingredients as far as possible. Most of the café’s products are made without animal ingredients. That includes the ice creams. One of the few exceptions is mämmi ice cream, which Lloyd thinks is not as good without cream.
”We go with the seasons. We’ll soon be selling rhubarb ice cream.”
He loves to bake
Po**ck says he arrived in Finland by chance. The second time he visited the country he stayed; that is 34 years ago. He is originally from the UK, with parents from Saint Kitts and Jamaica.
“The first time I came because I was a socialist and wanted to visit the Soviet Union. At that time, the cheapest way was to travel via Finland, which I did on Interrail. That was in 1981, when Brezhnev was still alive.”
Before Lloyd’s Cafe and Bakery, he has cooked for Nokia bosses and meetings of members of parliament and ministers. He ran a jazz club on Hämeentie Road and says he was close to getting a Michelin star.
“I love baking and I worked as a chef for more than 25 years. I got tired of cooking, so I decided to begin baking about ten years ago. It’s much more relaxing.”
He is French trained, and specializes in vegan and vegetarian food. But he does not make a big thing of it. “If you market a café as vegan or vegetarian, everyone thinks that’s all there is to it,” he says.
When he came to Finland, he wanted to learn to make Finnish food. Despite the fact that it was totally different from what he was used to, it went well. The only thing he found it hard to get used to was the Finnish fascination with dill.
If Italian food needs more flavour – add more tomatoes, if it’s French – add more garlic; if it’s Finnish – add more dill, and if it’s English – add more water!
Dann Petterson [email protected]
Original article online: https://www.hbl.fi/artikel/han-oppnar-nytt-kafe-mitt-i-coronakrisen/?_ga=2.181050018.463132070.1587890132-1054830331.1587737958
Translation: Mike Garner