Filippo Selini to take to the stage at the Kingston Business Expo to talk about his crowdfunding journey to regenerate a derelict toilet block, out of use since 1984, into a seasonal café serving high quality refreshments and fine foods.

Filippo Selini and his wife live close to Canbury Gardens and are very much part of the local Kingston community.  They visited Canbury Gardens on a regular basis and saw that the old toilet block was decaying and attracting antisocial activity.  They also realised that there was a lack of refreshments for the increasing population frequenting the gardens and riverside area.

Having a passion for Italian coffee and fine, fresh food and wanting to a make a difference in their community, they took on the project of breathing new life into the old toilet building by converting it into a picturesque park café.  The project involved significant and substantial work for repairing and securing the building and the surrounding area and while they were prepared to personally fund a large majority of the cost, they needed help raising the full amount and turned to crowdfunding to complete the project.

Using crowdfunding not only helped the café achieve its financial goal, it also demonstrated how much the local community welcoming and supported the initiative.

Now in it’s second season, the Canbury Secret has proven extremely popular and has become famous for its artisan Italian Gelato, traditionally made onsite with ingredients directly sourced from a supplier in Rimini, Italy. As one trip advisor review says:

“What a difference this fantastic cafe has made to the park. It is a place where the local community enjoy top quality coffee food and gelato and park users and passer by’s cannot believe their luck at finding this gem.”

To hear more about how Filippo turned his idea into a reality, join him at the Kingston Business Expo on 4th July at Kingston University Business School.