A STOCKBROKER looking out over London is remembering a time when it was Pret A Manger as far as the eye could see.
Julian Cook, who followed the family tradition by taking an internship at Deutsche Bank arranged by his father on his 21st birthday, is shocked by the changes to the Square Mile and fears for the non-chain coffee shop world his children will inherit.
Cook said: “When I first started earning six figures for wearing an expensive suit and talking with confidence, all you could see from here to the horizon was branches of Pret.
“There were no fancy ‘closing down’ signs in shop windows, no empty streets, no looming economic ruin. Back then we enjoyed simple pleasures, like a crayfish and rocket sandwich.
“You couldn’t walk 100 yards without passing a Pret. They bloomed wild, free and beautiful. We thought they’d always be there.
“What kind of a world are we leaving behind for our children where they might have to travel half-a-mile for a hummus and falafel mezze? How will we explain it to them?”