Lucky 13 – opening a new café during the pandemic

Credit: Federico Viciani

As London entered Tier 3 in December, Andrew Johnston met with Federico Viciani, who has set up a café, wine and deli shop as part of The Engine Room Community Centre.

With pubs alone set to lose £50million because of Tier 3 Covid-19 restrictions, I wondered how Tottenham Hale resident Federico Viciani has managed to make such a success of a café business, in these times, when others are struggling so much?

Federico is an inspiring Italian entrepreneur who made Tottenham his home five years ago and who has made the most of an opportunity to create a successful new business in the heart of Hale Village.

Federico Viciani

He came to the UK in 2010 working first as a waiter in Canterbury before making his career in the capital, where he recently worked as the Operations Manager for Vinoteca in Central London. But he had always dreamed of establishing his own business,
and opened Table13 in September 2020.

Federico explains why he chose the name Table 13: “Since working in restaurants I noticed that 95% of them don’t have a table 13 for superstitious reasons. I thought that if one day, I was going to open my own place, I would call it Table 13, as 13 is my lucky number.

“I had always seen the space as a great opportunity for me to develop my career. There is not much catering around the local area and also the village, and the community needs something like Table 13.”

The response of the local community has been fantastic with Federico seeing many followers on Instagram, and more customers than he could have dreamt of in his first four months.

“Now we are starting to see people from Bruce Grove, Seven Sisters, and Blackhorse Road travelling to come and see us here, which is fantastic.”

Table 13 has remained open throughout the pandemic, offering a purely takeaway service during lockdown, and table seating prior to London entering Tier 3. Federico has also developed a Click and Collect service which has been incredibly popular. In addition, Table 13 has recently added an excellent range of quality food products, including selected Portuguese, Spanish and Italian tinned food, a wide range of pastas and some very tasty
ready-made sauces, which has been a success.

Table 13’s concept is based around coffee, bread and wine; what Federico calls “the three humble elements of life,” and he is always happy to help people with their wine choices.

Community engagement is deeply important to Federico and was part of the reason for him wanting to join the Engine Room mix.

“I always wanted to give something back to my local community,” he said.

“On Hale Village and Ferry Lane I am aware that there are many who are living in very challenging situations. We were therefore delighted to support The Engine Room’s Tottenham Foodbank collections in December, offering free coffees and croissants to all who brought donations.”

Federico is now working on developing a kids’ special, and will be supporting a range of community events and programmes this year.

If you are looking for a cosy place with great quality coffee, excellent sandwiches, pizzas and focaccia, where you can always pick up a copy of Tottenham Community Press with your latte or cappuccino, do check out Table 13.

Table 13 is on Waterside Way, in Hale Village, London N17 9FU, a short walk from Tottenham Hale Bus and Underground station and is easily accessible from Tottenham Marshes and Walthamstow Wetlands.

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