Bite Mi - Best Newcomer 2017

Congratulations to Vietnamese cafe Bite Mi, winner of Brockley Central's Best Newcomer Award for the best new local high street business of 2017.

In the first re-ballot in the award's history, the top three were:

Bite Mi - 34%
Saka Maka - 27%
Parlez - 18%

Bite Mi is a fast, friendly cafe with a simple and authentic menu that has consistently drawn the crowds since it opened in February. With the recent departure of Coulgate Street's Mo Pho, it filled a hole in Brockley's culinary landscape and its stomachs.

This is the third time in four years that a Brockley Cross business has collected the Award, a remarkable turnaround for an undeniably ugly patch of SE4, which was once best known for gang violence and bad parking.

It's also worth noting that this is yet another independent winner, drawn from an all-independent field. The closest we came in 2017 to seeing a chain open in Brockley was the arrival of Gently, the sister store of previous winner Gently Elephant.

When Tesco opened on Lewisham Way a decade ago, many predicted it would herald the end of independent Brockley. Instead, the last ten years have been a golden age for local startups. While the supermarkets have moved in with a vengeance, they are surrounded by high-quality, adventurous and successful local businesses.

With the exception of Ladywell's El's Kitchen, which changed ownership but continues to flourish as The Larder, all of the previous eight winners continue to thrive to this day, while The Orchard, Brockley Market, Gently Elephant, The Brockley Deli and Masala Wala have all gone on to open more businesses in Brockley and beyond. That is an extraordinary record, of which they and we can be proud.

The Brockley Central Hall of Fame now looks like this:

Best Newcomer 2017 - Bite Mi
Best Newcomer 2016 - Cat Food
Best Newcomer 2015 - Masala Wala Cafe
Best Newcomer 2014 - The Brockley Deli
Best Newcomer 2013 - The Malaysian Deli
Best Newcomer 2012 - Gently Elephant
Best Newcomer 2011 - Brockley Market
Best Newcomer 2010 - El's Kitchen
Best Newcomer 2009 - The Orchard

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