The Organic Kitchen describes itself as the “home of healthy artisan fine foods and drink”. Dishes include avocado on rye for £7.50 and children’s menu features quinoa and mushroom balls with organic baked beans for £5.Yeah, I know what you're thinking...
But it seems even the progressives are drawing a line in the sand for once:
Hilary Penning, who runs the Organic Kitchen in Buckhurst Hill, has a two-year-old son and is unrepentant about her decision, which she announced by posting a sign on the door.
She said: “There’s been far too many instances where mums come in with newborn babies and allow the children to cry and cry. Some parents have come in for up to two hours with their children crying.
“It’s been a hard and challenging decision but I think I made the right choice. I cannot allow people to come in expecting to have a great eating experience but have to leave because their lunch or breakfast has been ruined by inconsiderate parents allowing their children to run riot, which has happened quite a bit.”Naturally, this didn't go down well with her customers, who don't recognise themselves in this, because oh, no, it's never their children, is it?
Karen Sticher, 39, was one of the first to share the image of the sign on social media. Ms Sticher, chief executive of business management firm Elite Training and a mother of two, said: “It’s discrimination because anyone with an under-five is not allowed in.Yup! Because we can't judge people any more, we have to have a blanket ban.
“They are excluding people based on age. In this day and age I’m amazed they want to discriminate against people who just want to have a coffee.It’s not a fancy bar or restaurant, it’s a cafe and it’s right next to a school. It’s the only one open when the older children are dropped off and mums want a coffee. I want this business to be successful but I feel this is a poor decision.”Welcome to the world you and yours created. Don't like it much? Awwww. Poor you.
Ellie Hart-Spratt, 39, who has a daughter aged two, said: “I can see things from both sides. The stupid part was the way the ban was advertised with a sign. The big picture of the baby was awful. Even if the policy changes to allow young children, I think the way it has been done has annoyed so many people.
“There’s a lot of money in this area with mums and I do think the business will feel the effects of it.”Maybe. Maybe not.
Another mother, who gave her name only as Annabel, said: “It’s very disappointing. I take my daughter who is three there all the time but I won’t be able to any more.
“They’re really shooting themselves in the foot because there are three independent schools and two state schools in the street so there are definitely more customers with children than without.”We'll see. If you're right, it'll go bust. But what if you're wrong?
What if the new clientele, who flock to a cafe they know won't be overrun by screaming brats while yummy mummy Facebooks over a latte, actually make it a success?
One to watch.