AN eco-cafe with a difference is aiming to become the centre of its community in Cowley.

Cafe Kraken, in Hollow Way, opened its doors on August 3 with a soft launch – but its founder has big plans.

Gope Walker moved to Oxford in 2018 and his global analytical consultancy, Data Kraken, occupies the first floor of the two-storey former antiques shop.

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The East Oxford resident had planned to rent the space out to another business, but realised he had the chance to build an environmentally-friendly space where people can meet.

He said: “I wanted to create an eco-café that was more accessible for everyone, rather than being your usual place just for hipsters.

“There’s also not enough of a community around and it’s heartbreaking.

"I want people to start knowing each other again.”

The 45-year-old wants to facilitate this by eventually creating a hub for community clubs, projects and meet-ups.

Oxford Mail:

The cafe seeks to celebrate the best of Oxfordshire, with the walls adorned with photos and paintings of locations such as Kennington's Bagley Wood.

Mr Walker, who does not travel by air for environmental reasons and has a mostly plant-based diet, is keen to make the venture as green as possible.

The cafe promotes reusable cups, along with biodegradable and single use items, while the ultimate aim is for all produce to be sourced from a radius of a few miles.

It is already serving coffee produced by Headington company New Ground, alongside other hot drinks and smoothies.

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The only food currently available is fresh patissiere products and sandwiches, but a full menu will soon be introduced.

The delay is due to the challenges of setting up the cafe in lockdown and Mr Walker is hoping to slowly build up to full capacity.

He added: “We’ve had a lot of issues from launching during Covid-19.

"It took us three months to move the electricity meter when it would usually take three days.

“Getting to this point was very hard.

“We didn’t want to go in all guns blazing as we’re in a pandemic.”

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The cafe currently has four members of staff and is still looking to recruit a chef, but Mr Walker envisages hiring up to ten people in total.

All employees must be able to get to work without a car, both to reduce the environmental impact and create jobs for Oxford residents.

Mr Walker added: “I don’t want people increasing our carbon footprint and I want local people to be working here.

“Our prices will be competitive, but we hope customers will be prepared to pay that little bit more if they know the money’s going back into the local area.”