Last updated: 25 October 2023

Next review: 11 August 2024

Business Growth Team oversees the council's relationship with the business community and develop interventions to "Keep, Seed and Grow" businesses in the borough with a targeted approach to specific sectors to enable Waltham Forest’s economy to thrive and the borough's overall productivity to increase.

The case studies below highlight some of the businesses we’ve supported.

BRU Walthamstow

Open in 2018 BRU Walthamstow is part of a chain of four privately owned coffee and gelato shops in the UK. BRU is on a journey to evolve the coffee shop culture for generations to come; this journey began in 2014.

The company identified Walthamstow as a growing area and thought Walthamstow’s high street needed a different offer. BRU wanted to make local people centre of their business, BRU Walthamstow employs twelve staff, of which 90% live in Waltham Forest.

Man walking out side Bru shop

The branch manager Rafael has extensive local knowledge, having spent his teenage years studying at the Holy Family secondary school and sixth form in Walthamstow; he later spent ten years working at the Weatherspoon’s in Leyton.  With his understanding of the local area, Rafael was adamant about bringing new products and offerings that will benefit the local community.

Located in Hoe Street a walking distance away from Walthamstow train station BRU Walthamstow offers more than coffee and gelato. The café was designed as just another coffee place you can work in, but a workplace where you can also get coffee.

Man with arms crossed with woman in a coffee shop

Local councillors regularly use the space as it provides other amenities that are of great use to the community. Local artists have space to sell their artwork free of charge, kid’s board games, free book exchange and Boogie books.

Hosted by BRU coffee Boogie books are a free speaking and sing class for toddlers, this is service delivered by a resident and it has proofed to be popular amongst new mothers. Rafael has ambitious plans for BRU in Waltham Forest, he hopes to continue engaging with the local community to grow and make BRU’s offering bigger and better.

Empty shop with colourful chairs and lights

Rhythm Kitchen

Situated on Hoe St a few minutes walking distance away from Walthamstow central station, Rhythm Kitchen E17 aims to bring the flavour of the Caribbean to Waltham Forest.

Delroy (Founder) a Waltham Forest native studied at Tom Hood primary school now known as Buxton School in Leytonstone.

As a young man he pursued his love for cooking by training to be a chef at Waltham Forest College. In his teens and early twenties Delroy worked as a chef for various hotels in Central London before his career took a number of twist and turns which eventually landed him a job in TV.

After 15 years in the TV industry, Delroy never lost his love for cooking, he eventually followed his instincts and in 2009 he took his fine food to Westfield and convinced them that he is the right man to deliver a professional and cultural offering.

Image of the Rhythm shop front

Established in 2011 Rhythm Kitchen first opened in Westfield Stratford, as popularity and demand increased Delroy decided to open a restaurant near his home in Walthamstow. Rhythm Kitchen E17 seats approximately 25-30 people offering classic west Indian dishes, with a bar stacked full of over 60 types of Rum on view.  

Man standing at the till within the shop

Inspired by his community, Delroy loves to have conversations with local people to find out what he can do support.

“I want to open my restaurant to the community and local businesses, if suitable I willing to consider apprenticeships and work experience for the young people of the Borough”

Through his conversations with local Councillors, Delroy has been in contact with the Business Growth, Investment and Employment team to recruit local people. The Councils Steps into Work service is currently supporting Rhythm Kitchen recruit local Kitchen Assistants and Chefs.  

A valued member of the community, Delroy has plans to open more branches in other Town Centres in Waltham Forest.

For more information you can visit

Man and woman behind shop till