By Aalia Khan
Normally when I interview politicians we often have serious discussions on policies and topics that are often problematic issues looking for solutions. After a recent visit to Berries & Bagels, a new eaterie in the heart of Barkerend, on Killinghall Road, I wondered what such a hip and stylish cafe appealing to a young market, was doing in what looks like a deprived run down area.
Well who best to ask than the current MP for area; David Ward. I invited David for a date, to hang out with the Asian Sunday and the owners of Berries and Bagels.
David arrived promptly for my lunch date, dressed casually smart in light blue jeans, navy jumper and blazer.
We exchanged hellos and I asked him if he had had lunch to which he replied yes. I said I hope you’ve got a bit of an appetite as Berries food is not only delicious but the portions are of good size too. David got the New York bagel, which consisted of smoked salmon, cream cheese, black olives, avocado, fresh lemon & black pepper, he paired that with a latte. I got a chicken Philadelphia bagel which includes chicken breast, onions, sweet corn, green chillies, coriander, spring onions, tomatoes and Philadelphia cheese. I opted for a Pepsi to go with my bagel.
As we sat down we were greeted by one half of the owner of Berries, Bagels & shakes Zubair. He introduced himself and we all sat down to chat. I allowed Zubair to speak to David about his business, hiring foreign workers, expanding further, and the unique concept as there aren’t many bagel shops around. Soon after Zubair’s partner Liva joined us who is of Latvian origin but lives in the UK.
We all had our food and chatted about various different topics. I then asked David if I could fire away with some of my questions to which he responded “Yes go ahead.” I told him I wanted to keep this as informal as possible and allow it to be a chilled out, late lunch.
David told me about the first date he ever went on which was with his wife. She was 14 and he was 15, surprisingly to Zubair, Liva and I David also recalled the exact date and day “We started going out with each other on January 12 1969, it was a Sunday night.” He told me that they walked around the streets and this was the first time they had been together. He then joked “Now I can’t get rid of her.”
Soon Zubair and I began firing away with many questions to David. He was taken aback by some as he has always been used to answering political questions, so questions about his personal life, interests and hobbies left him speechless at times.
When was the last time you had a bagel?
“Months ago, I can’t even remember the last time. I love bread and whatever I’ve got on a plate I’ll turn it into a sandwich.”
What is your favourite food?
“Ordinary basic food; I love fry ups, Sunday dinners, roast lunches. My favourite meal is when the family will come round, the grand kids and everyone and we’ll just put lots of stuff on the table.”
Are you a fan of curries?
“I’ll eat them yes. My local is a very small place down in idle and it’s where I go often to have my Indian curries.”
Zubair then asked him which famous person he would like to have dinner with. David struggled with this question as he could not think of an answer “Gosh I’m not used to this” he laughed. He joked with Zubair “Well apart from you, it would be nice once in a while to sit down and have a meal with my wife as we’re like ships in the night just passing each other usually.” David says the best meal for him is to sit down with his two grandchildren and two sons to have a family meal as it is such a rarity.
What’s the best way for you to relax?
“Running, I do a lot of running and I run past here quite regularly. I was a very keen footballer and when I moved here I decided to stop football but I always wanted to keep fit so I started running. I’ve never been more than a week without a run.”
If you could retire anywhere in the world where would it be?
“I would never retire, and if I could live anywhere I’d stay here because I like it here. It’s nice to visit places but if I go anywhere else I always feel like I need to get back.”
What made you come here?
“I came here in 1979 for one year to do the MBA at the university’s management centre on Emm Lane. I came to look at it, had an interview got a place then thought I could stay here for a year.”
Do you like cricket?
“Yeah, I used to play a lot of cricket when I was young; my dad played it a lot so it was a part of my growing up.”
Could you ever see yourself joining another party?
Is Nick Clegg a good leader?
“Yeah I think he’s done a good job, he’s a genuine person, he’s bright and I think he’s had the hardest hob in British politics. We are a small party and people keep forgetting this because he’s deputy prime minister, it’s not easy having to make big decisions when you don’t have enough support.”
Zubair then ended with “Who do you support in football,” David replied “I’m a Bradford city season ticket holder, but I’ve also always supported Manchester united.”
David was very supportive of Berries, Bagels and Shakes and believes that “The more interesting things we can have in this area the better it is for the image of the place. And it will help the growth and the development of the area.” He also said he will definitely be returning there and recommends it to others.
After we concluded our questions David had to shoot off. I asked Zubair about the business and he told me that the reason why he has opened this deli bar in the deprived area of BD3 is because he was born and bred there and it “Holds sentimental Value.” Liva said the two things they like are bagels and shakes so they decided to do this combination. Zubair also explained that they wanted a place where they could serve people both in the winter and summer as “In the winter people don’t tend to have cold foods” so they formed Berries, Bagels & Shakes.
Well readers I absolutely enjoyed the company and the food. Go visit Berries, Bagels and shakes at 20 Killinghall Road, Bradford.