The Horizon Café has been a mainstay in Leytonstone town centre for over a decade and a half and in a difficult year, continues to be a popular and lovingly curated local hangout. We caught up with owner Akacha Laidi.
Please can you tell us a bit about Horizon? When did it start and what was the inspiration behind it?
Horizon is a Patisserie and Viennoiserie in the heart of Leytonstone. We opened in the spring of 2004 when Leytonstone was going through a rather down spell and lacking in eat-in and takeaway options.
What makes the cafe stand out?
Horizon sits on the High Road making it clear and accessible for all, and its wooden outdoor sitting area is very inviting. Its large windows give a clear look inside the shop which has been designed and decorated to a high level.
How has the cafe developed?
With all new businesses, you have to gain trust and reliability. In the 16 years it has been open, Horizon has developed very good relationships, not just with the local community, but with other businesses in the near vicinity.
How do you support the local community?
We have been involved in charity projects, for example Feeding the Homeless, as well as being a part of local community organisations discount scheme.
What have been the challenges of COVID-19 and how have you dealt with them?
Covid-19 has hit many businesses, and Horizon is no exception. As we rely a lot on sit-in custom, lockdown was a blow. Fortunately, delivery options were available and locals were still able to get their favourite snacks via mobile apps.
What makes Leytonstone special?
Leytonstone is a hub of small businesses and close-knit communities and a special part of east London. People are friendly and happy to help each other out.
Why should people support local businesses?
The future is very unsure, and many small businesses rely on local custom to keep them afloat. Many of these have served the community for years and rely on your support to continue that service. Local businesses are run by friends and neighbours. So help them to help you and shop local whenever and wherever you can.
What places do you like to visit local?
My family love the local gym, parks and various shops. Leytonstone is blessed to have a varied choice of facilities and shops to suit and cater for everyone.