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Barking Riverside chef to feed homeless with café

PUBLISHED: 09:00 21 February 2016

Rashana Shirley (left) owner of Nice Nice Cafe in The Rivergate Centre in Barking Riverside

Rashana Shirley (left) owner of Nice Nice Cafe in The Rivergate Centre in Barking Riverside

Archant

A Jamaican chef who became the second retailer to open in Barking Riverside is preparing to launch a new menu and scheme to help feed the homeless.

Owner of Nice Nice cafe in The Rivergate Centre in Barking, Rashana ShirleyOwner of Nice Nice cafe in The Rivergate Centre in Barking, Rashana Shirley

Rashana Shirley, 35, of Crossness Road, Barking, launched Nice Nice Café at the Rivergate Centre in November after 20 years working as a chef.

Serving a range of English, Caribbean and Chinese cuisine, the dad-of-of-two wants to inspire his children through his business.

“I’ve been a chef since I was a young boy, but when you’re working for other people you don’t always get the recognition and gratitude,” he said.

“I just want to make people happy at the end of the day, so it’s great having my own cafe.

“My dream is to open another restaurant on the high street in Barking and be the greatest chef in the area.

“I want to leave a legacy for my kids to follow, because my parents left me nothing.”

A specialist in Caribbean cuisine, Rashana first came to the UK on holiday but after meeting his first wife he decided to stay.

Now after four months serving teachers and parents of next-door George Carey Primary School, alongside local residents and workers, he will start offering free meals for some of the borough’s homeless population from next month.

“I’ve always been a decent person but often I’ve given to the wrong people, so I wanted to make sure I give to those people that really need it,” he added. “That’s important to me.”

Visit nicenicecafe.com for more information.


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