Former Spanish software designer launches new Forest Gate cafe

Owner Ivan Sahagun at Familia Cafe in Forest Gate

Owner Ivan Sahagun at Familia Cafe in Forest Gate - Credit: Archant

A former software designer from Spain who picked up English by listening to The Beatles has launched his own coffee shop.

Owner Ivan Sahagun at Familia Cafe in Forest Gate

Owner Ivan Sahagun at Familia Cafe in Forest Gate - Credit: Archant

Ivan Sahagun, 33, opened Familia Cafe, in Forest Lane, Forest Gate, on Saturday, selling breakfasts, soups and sandwiches alongside teas and coffees.

After moving to the UK with his girlfriend four years ago to avoid the struggle of finding work in the same Spanish city, he began working in coffee bars to make ends meet, but liked it so much he decided to go it alone.

“Since I was young I’ve really loved the English language,” he said. “My parents got me into it but I wanted to learn more so I’ve always wanted to live in London.

“I’d read things like [George Orwell’s] 1984, but it’s the music that drew me to the language, things like The Beatles and Arctic Monkeys.


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“I’d always wanted to come to England at some point and as my country wasn’t going through the best of times, we decided to give it a go.”

After learning from some of the best since arriving in the capital, the guitar-playing barista insists customer service and good music are the keys to running a successful cafe.

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“I like to get the names of my customers, ask about their families and get to know them,” he said.

“I don’t like the places that are just cold – you order and just go to collect. I like to talk to my customers.”

Visit facebook.com/familiacafe for more information.

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