The owner of a new restaurant on St John Street offering food inspired by classic French cuisine has said he knows his venture is risky, but is confident it will pay dividends.
With 20 years of experience in the food industry working at venues including the prestigious Oxo Tower, Levi Desmoniere, 40, originally from Martinique, decided to open Miz en Bouche with two colleagues.
“I like to entertain people and it’s like being part of a party every day. People come here with friends and family to have a drink, so it’s always a celebration in the restaurant. It’s my Caribbean side coming through,” he said.
He opened Miz en Bouch in December 2012, renting the property for £34,000 a year. This seemed like an attractive rate for Mr Desmoniere. He said: “We were looking for a venue and we found this one for the right price so we picked it.”
The current economic climate did not deter Mr Desmoniere from opening his business. He understood the risks involved: “To open a business is itself the risk, but in life we have to take risks sometimes, and that’s why we did it.”
Mr Desmoniere hopes to transform Miz en Bouche into a well known Islington establishment capable of competing with Upper Street’s many restaurants: “I hope this becomes a nice little, local restaurant that people feel comfortable to come and eat in, to have a coffee or just to use the internet. The university is next door and it is very local.
“I don’t want to make customers, I want to make friends,” he said.
The Miz en Bouche co-owner hopes, like many people starting a business, that this venture will provide the income to build a good life for his children. He said: “I have a kid, so I have to leave him a legacy to have a secure future. I hope to make enough money to provide that.”