SE25 Food Trail

  • Subject: Oral History
A table set with plates of biscuits and pastries, glasses, a jug of water and a silver ketter

South Norwood resident sharing the stories of the multi-ethnic food, cultures, and local history on a food trail of the High Street in 2019.

In this audio you can hear Mary. 

The audio is 1 minute and 6 seconds long.

Audio Transcript: 

We set up SE25 Food Trail in November 2019, and we wanted to celebrate our multi migrant community and what a diverse area this is by celebrating, you know, the Portuguese food, the Brazilian food, the Ghanaian food, the Nigerian food, the Jamaican food and so much else. And so those were…that’s the three things that we set out to do. 

The High Street is the focus of people’s anxieties because you know, there’s a feeling that it could be better. There is a regeneration project here for a reason, and so we wanted to focus on the high street, and so we had a food crawl, like a pub crawl, where we went up and down the high street into different businesses. We had…after that we had about 26 people come along on the space of just a few weeks’ activity. We went into about 6 or 8 different shops and restaurants to show just what a fantastic offering there is. The idea was to show people things that they might not know were there, or they might know they were there, but they didn’t know how to use them. 

We also wanted to celebrate the businesses that had been here for longer. Because it’s very easy to celebrate the new things, the cafes that are coming in. We wanted to celebrate everybody because there was a lot of concern about the area changing. And so, for instance, the vegetable shop on the corner opposite the Clock Tower, the open stall run by the three Kurdish guys [referring to Clock Tower Fruit & Vegetables]. We wanted to show what a fantastic offering they’ve got in there. They’ve got things in there you might not expect such as organic coconut sugar, that’s particularly high in nutrition and it’s tucked away, and you don’t have to go to a fancy whole food shop somewhere, you can find it right here in South Norwood. 

So, there’s incredible diversity because we have Polish shops, we have a relatively new Turkish supermarket, and we have two Portuguese shops now. We have Café Lusitano [High Street] and Café Terra [Selhurst Road], and the thing about it really is that those shops are run by people who like good food. And so, they have things in there that you might not know. For instance, Café Lusitano has a freezer compartment that’s like Narnia, and it’s absolutely full of fantastic high quality frozen fish that is in large quantities and extremely cheap, so we wanted to show people the things they didn’t know.


South Norwood High Street Stories is funded by Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme delivered by Croydon Council. For more information visit

Image Credit: Croydon Council

A table set with plates of biscuits and pastries, glasses, a jug of water and a silver ketter

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