Murky Depths

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Abbey Wood, Belvedere

Bexley Council seek to evict popular family-run Abbey Wood coffee shop

A popular coffee shop at Lesnes Abbey in Belvedere / Abbey Wood has been asked by Bexley Council to leave its site at the end of this month.

1st birthday celebrations in 2018

The authority are refusing to renew the lease to Abbey Good coffee and are believed to want to operate the site themselves.  Since opening two years ago the family-run coffee shop has provided great customer service and engaged widely with local people – which is not always the case with many businesses.

They have helped attract visitors to the gardens and grounds plus offer a permanent presence in an area known for anti-social behaviour.




A loyal customer base has built up over time and there are now fears the spot will remain empty over the summer.

A petition has been created here asking Bexley Council to support local businesses and renew the lease.

I took a look around the revamped area back in 2016.

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8 Comments

  1. Chris Nash

    Odd that Conservative-controlled Bexley Council are seeking to stifle small business owners in favour of (effectively) privatising this coffee shop!

  2. anonymous201486

    The council is riding on the coat tails of people who took a chance and made it a success. I hope the present customers boycott the council run operation.

  3. Roger Simpson

    What a horrid act by LB Bexley (although they do have form).

  4. David Collins

    who ever runs it needs to get a foof on it because when it rains there is no couverso i dont stop there and thats a shamei take my walking group else where because of thatbut id support the family

    • Anon1112089

      The operator of the kiosk is not responsible for the outside area.
      They therefore are not responsible for shade or cover from the rain or snow.
      Bexley council are, and despite pleas from the operator to find a solution, they have not yet been able to.
      The pergolas outside could have had a glass roof, spanning both, as the counter area of the kiosk has.
      The rain water from them also could have been stored in water tanks for the gardeners.

  5. Anon1112089

    It is not ‘family’ run, it is operated by one lady, who employs staff.

    The operator cooks from her home kitchen (food inspected), but no other family members work there.

    Great customer service, and loyalty are open to interpretation.

    They do help attract visitors to the gardens and grounds.

    “plus offer a permanent presence in an area known for anti-social behaviour.” is subject to their opening hours depending on the time of year. Sometimes as little as 4 1/2 hours, 10am-2:30pm in the winter months.

    The lodge area is covered by CCTV.

  6. Rocket

    There are two side to every story – I guess we would be up in arms if Bexley were found to be condoning an operator who was breaking the law/contracts etc.

    London Borough of Bexley on Facebook

    We have given the following response to an enquiry from the News Shopper about the Abbey Good Coffee Shop.

    We have been in contact with Ms Abdi and her solicitors over the Abbey Good coffee shop for the past two months following a number of meetings. She has, unfortunately breached a number of obligations set out in her contract.

    We contacted Ms Abdi in September last year about these issues, but she has not addressed them. Because of this we had no choice but to give notice to Ms Abdi and to begin the search for a new contractor to take on the café.

    We are disappointed that things have reached this stage, but we have to ensure that we always get the best possible value for our residents. Ms Abdi received our full support when she came to Lesnes Abbey and we know that the kiosk has proved to be popular. We cannot allow her to continue to trade when she is in breach of her agreed contract.

    Ms Abdi would be able to submit a tender to run the café should she wish to do so along with other interested parties.

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