You might remember a story we did a few weeks ago about a cereal bar opening in London. Well today is the grand opening and yesterday, owners Gary and Alan Keery (who are identical twins if you couldn’t tell) invited us for a bowl the day before its grand opening.
We were pretty excited to visit the Cereal Killer Café ever since the twins invited us but we didn’t know what to expect. I had a vague image in my head of a café with loads of cereal and not a lot else. But it was so much more, the design and general vibe of the place was totally on point. It was like walking into your childhood, if you grew up on the set of an 80’s American sitcom kitchen that is.
The café has a ground floor and a basement which is kitted out with old-school cereal memorabilia. There’s a Tony the Tiger skateboard, a Honey Monster collection and various toys that you used to get in cereal boxes.
After a delicious bowl of Reese’s Puffs with chocolate milk and Reece’s Pieces mixed in I had a chat with Alan about what they offer and their plans for the future.
So your business partner is also your identical twin, what’s that like?
We have nearly punched holes in each other quite a few times which is fine, because we’re identical twins we will fight and we will curse each other and scream at each other but 10 minutes later we’ll be fine again. I think it’s part of the joy of working with a family member because if I did this with anyone else I don’t think I would have got through this week. It’s been quite stressful.
I know from when I spoke to Gary before that you don’t have an alcohol license but if you did what spirits would you mix with your cereal, maybe some Bailey’s or something?
Yeah you could do that or you could have a white Russian and experiment with different cereal. There’s definitely a lot of things you can do with alcohol and cereal but for now you can get drunk before coming in here. I mean I like a peanut butter cereal after I’m drunk, just before I go home or when I’m at home and I know a lot of other people who like to have cereal at the end of the night because it’s easy and you can just jump into bed with it. I do think we’ll have some drunk people but I think they’ll love it even more than sober people.
You have a serious collection of memorabilia, where did you get it all?
EBay has been absolutely amazing, I’m shit hot on it now. I always manage to get what I want for a good price.
Is there anything that you’re particularly proud of?
We’ve got some animation cells, like the original sketch of Tony the Tiger and then the animation cell that was used in the advert. This is from back in the day when they had to actually hand-draw all animations. There’s that one and then there’s a couple of Wheetabix ones upstairs as well and they’re all really cool.
You’ve got that collection of Honey Monsters upstairs, I don’t even recognise some of them, how far back does he go?
He goes back to the 70s. I guess he’s always looked a wee bit retarded but back then his shoulders we above his head and since then it’s like he’s evolved. That’s why we’ve got them like that, to kind of show the evolution of the honey monster.
I like what you’ve done with the TVs over there, what’s that about?
We want to put cartoons on them like He-Man, Thunder Cats, Hey Arnold, Power Puff Girls, Dungeons and Dragons, and then other shows like Saved By The Bell. Just all the good Saturday morning things you remember about sitting down with your bowl of cereal. There’s going to be a lot more TVs going in there as well.
So you’re really trying to recreate the Saturday morning feel but for every day?
It’s the whole cereal experience that we’re going for. We want people to leave going that was ridiculous I absolutely loved it or that was ridiculous I absolutely hated it.
I can’t imagine many people hating it, you’ve clearly put in a lot of effort into creating it and you’ve really pulled it off but how did you go about designing it?
The idea for the design was based on a bowl of lucky charms. So we wanted the floor to look like the cereal itself and then walls of different colours to be like the marshmallows you get in a bowl of lucky charms. We worked with an interior designer called Sara Lewin to make our ideas come to life and she has been amazing.
I love the mini collections of cereal toys, do you still get them?
No, you’re not allowed to advertise to kids like that any more, you can’t make them want a cereal just for the toy that it comes with. It just shows how PC we are these day. They did it for the World Cup I think where they put hacky sacks in them and they got away with that because it encouraged exercise.
What’s your favourite cereal combo at the moment?
It’s Reece’s Puffs with Coco Pops in it because they’ve got different textures and obviously one is peanut butter flavour and the other one is chocolate and they just work amazingly with each other. Reese’s Puffs are absolutely the best, we’ve got about five peanut butter cereals and they’re all amazing. But you can’t buy any of them in this country, nobody makes it.
How long have you been setting up shop?
We got the keys last Monday but we were able to turn it around quickly. I’ve worked in retail so I’ve opened stores before. You just have to put long hours in and get it done. We had to paint everything, redo the plumbing, get a new boiler and tear up the laminate flooring that used to be down here. And all the cabinets we used were bought vintage and have been upcycled.
These old “collector’s” boxes, do any of them have cereal in?
Some of them have yeah, but you wouldn’t want to eat them. If someone was to ask if they can try the Batman cereal I’d say: “Yeah you can come in and try it but I don’t think you’ll live to tell the tale.”
Have you got any plans for the future?
You know what, a dream of mine would be to get Kellogg’s or someone to make a cereal with us. To get a Cereal Killer line of cereals would be amazing. That would be the dream.
You want your own cereal? That’s sick, what flavour would you want to make?
I’d probably want to go with something peanut butter because you can’t get it in this country and because I love it so much. More people need to know about it and that it exists. We could do an amazing peanut butter cereal.
I would definitely buy a bowl, what would you call it?
Hmmm, I don’t know. Maybe Cereal Killers?
And can people get their cereal to go?
Yeah you can get your cereal to take away in a McFlurry style cup.
So what about the menu, where’s that heading?
Our menu is going to constantly be evolving, we’ve got another delivery coming this week from America that will include loads of Christmas cereals. So they’ll be Christmas Crunch and Holiday Sprinkle Cookie Crisp. Like a few special limited edition ones, America do loads of Christmas and Halloween ones. We’ve got Boo-Berry Franken Berry and Count Chocula and these are only available for one month a year in America.
We want to get more countries as well, we’ve got six at the moment. We’ve got about 50 American and 50 British cereals and then 10 from the rest of the world. Germany do really good cereals, like Dr. Oetker ones that we want to get as well and then just constantly add to it.
And you have all the traditional cereals like Weetabix?
We do have them all but are you going to want to come in and eat a Weetabix? Do you know what I mean? You’re going to come in here and try something new , that’s the point of it so that’s why we’re displaying all the foreign ones.
So you’re open seven days a week?
Yeah, seven days a week from 7am to 10pm.
We want to thank Alan and Gary for inviting us down and chatting with us. If you want to know more about Cereal Killer Café, where it is, who they are, what they do you can check out the website by clicking here and their Facebook page here.
And if you want to know more about how the project started read the last story we did on the Cereal Killer Cafe. In the mean time why don’t you take a look at some more pictures and keep scrolling for the menu. It includes 120 different cereals from around the world, 20 toppings and over 30 different milks. The menu also stretches to poptarts, toast and speciality cereal cakes.
Here’s a couple of pictures of possibly the most famous serial killers, get it? What’s amazing is that they’re actually made out of various cereal pieces.
This is just a few of the cereals that are available to buy.
And here’s the menu: