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Café EtAl

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Thursday, June 10, 2021

Afrocentric inspired clothing store EtAl has expanded its brand to include a chic Café EtAl with the official opening inside the Knutsford Express terminal at Drax Hall in St Ann on Monday.

EtAl principal Deean Fontaine invited Thursday Food to a soft opening last Saturday.

Fontaine outlined that the venture, though a complement to the operations of the transport company, was also created as a chill spot with a warm and welcoming space designed to service the area.

“With so much commercial and residential development happening, as well as persons who work in the area having few options to come out and chill, this space was created with a view to improve those options. We went for colours that are friendly, cheerful [that] will make people happy. As part of our décor, we also wanted to keep it as natural and environmentally friendly as possible, so we have reused a lot of wood to make the tables and cover the columns. EtAl is an afrocentric brand and the staff aprons feature fabric from Africa, and my long-term intention is to bring in coffee and chocolate from Africa,” Fontaine stated.

She also spoke about the deliberate moves to ensure that the extensive menu was not only exceptional in taste but also at a price point that would be affordable.

“We have Executive Chef Neil Heslop and I believe he is one of the best chefs on the island, and our pastry chef is Collin Palmer and he was an understudy to Chef Colin Hylton, who was definitely among the best in that field. I wanted to provide options that could fit any budget and options that are easily recognisable for locals and visitors,” Fontaine added.

Executive Chef Heslop has over 30 years of experience, a cooking style that's steeped in diversity and international flair, especially from his work in France and New Mexico.

“We are emphasising service, consistency and the best flavour configurations around. We want to bring some new ideas, by taking our traditional dishes and giving them a new twist. We are doing a jackfruit jerk sauce that will be well-received. At the same time, if it's not broke, we are not trying to fix it; what works well, we'll be keeping it. Keen attention will be paid to service; we will focus on that. When you come in it will be a pleasant environment, and to just drench our customers with excellent customer service,” said Heslop.

— Photos & text by Aceion Cunningham


EtAl Café

Address: Knutsford Express terminal, Drax Hall, St Ann