Meet the Black South London brothers and sisters who run a tiny brunch cafe so fashionable crowds are queuing down the road

Meet the Black South London brothers and sisters who run a tiny brunch cafe so fashionable crowds are queuing down the road

MUD is without a doubt a tooting institution. The small cafe, about five minutes from the Tooting Broadway tube station, is known city-wide for its brunch and often sees long lines on weekends.

Serving classic brunch dishes with a twist, MUD offers a menu that changes seasonally and uses local south London ingredients. Dishes include plantain and ginger eggs benedict, corn pancakes or Turkish eggs.

Behind the delicious food and successful business are siblings Kemilia and Femi Ogunmuyiwa from Black South London. The siblings took over MUD in 2019 – just as the pandemic was starting to hit businesses – but they still managed to continue making the cafe a huge success.

Kemilia, 33, told MyLondon the cafe was packed before the first lockdown was introduced in March 2020. She said, “It’s been packed all summer, we were like, ‘Oh my God, we made it like we could retire next year.'”

READ MORE: “I went to the cafe where people line the block to get ‘the best coffee in South London’ and had the best brunch of my life.”

MUD in Tooting is a tiny cafe with a big reputation

“And then, I remember vividly, over the winter we stocked up for the week, packed up all our supplies and suddenly got the shutdown announcement. We thought, ‘What are we going to do with all this food?’” Coffee shop into a deli, the switch to Deliveroo and the introduction of voucher systems. But the community’s love for MUD helped them pull through.

Femi, 32, added: “Our customers have been working hard to keep MUD open. When we were selling things like eggs, bread, fruit and veg… Tesco was right next door and they probably could have gotten a little bit cheaper there, but they always chose to come here.”

MUD is also popular for its delicious coffee

The loyalty of MUD customers was also evident when the cafe finally reopened: “As soon as we could start having people in it [we had] big queues with people happily queuing with their masks on,” Kemilia said.

MUD had been in business for five years when the brother and sister duo took over, and they were determined to keep the relaxed brunch vibe – while better reflecting the local environment, for example by using local ingredients from Tooting Market.

Kemilia and Femi, both from South London, were inspired by their mother’s and family’s travels for their father’s work. Femi said: “It has always been a dream for us. I was working in finance at the time. And my sister is a corporate attorney.

“It was like a pipe dream (…) Eating was a kind of escape route. Our love for food comes from moving around our whole lives and eating from all over the world.”

Co-owner Femi prepares plates in the kitchen

As for the future of MUD, Kemilia and Femi have been looking for other sites to expand the brand and test evening events and pop-ups.

Kemilia is also a new mom and having a child under one makes things even busier: “She’s a business baby, she’s a pandemic baby. It’s full on, it’s really full on but we make sure of it , that it works.”

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The brother and sister duo are proud to be black restaurateurs and love to innovate with their work.

“It’s really important to us,” Kemilia said, “there aren’t that many black restaurateurs and we’re really trying to make that a thing and let people know we’re here.” Femi added, “And that our standards are just as high as those of our competitors.”

MUD is open Monday to Sunday from 8am to 4pm with food served from 9am to 3pm.

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