Terry’s tale

Terry came from a modest family of cooks. His dad was a chef in the army and his mum a pastry cook, so naturally he grew up around food. Born and raised in South London — all his family were from the Borough — where bomb sites were the playgrounds of his generation. Like most working class families in London, summer holidays were spent working on hop farms around Kent, pulling down vines for the local breweries.

Post war

During the war he was evacuated to Folkestone, where he lived with an Army major and his wife. After the bombs stopped falling, Terry was reunited with the major on a trip down memory lane which resulted in his ownership of two pigs. This quickly turned into a smallholding two thousand pigs. (Promise we’re not telling porkies.)

Learning the trade

At 17, Terry got a job at Smithfield Meat Market, where he learnt his trade in all aspects of butchery. But after a long career in the market, he decided it was time for a change of direction in order to spend some time with his young family. In 1982 he opened what is now known as Terry’s Cafe. With his extensive product knowledge, cooking and butchering skills, he produced wonderful home-cooked food using the resources from Smithfield and Borough markets nearby.

South London ambassador

During his life, Terry was an ambassador for the local community. He passed on his values and experience to his son, Austin, who was named after Austin’s of Peckham, a former antiques shop on Rye Lane. Terry even got a discount on antiques for promoting the name.

Austin has worked in Terry’s since becoming a Saturday boy at the age of 14. Now in his thirties, he plans to move forward with his dad’s winning formula and continue to promote traditional values and British culture in a positive fashion.

Family matters

No history of Terry’s would be complete without mentioning Auntie Kath, who worked at Terry’s Cafe until the ripe old age of 85. Thankfully her recipes live on and continues to influence our menu to this day. As a family business, Terry and Kathy’s hard work still inspires us to get out of bed each morning and do them proud. Honouring their legacy isn’t easy, but after a hard day’s work there’s no substitute for a good honest cuppa.

Last but not least

And finally, dear customer we’d like to thank you for supporting Terry’s past, present or future. You are the salt of the earth and the sugar in our tea. We couldn’t have done it without you. Have a look through our scrap book of memories, why not create your own, post them here on Facebook and we’ll include them on our site. #timeforterrys  #londonsnoted

Welcome to Terry’s