Blog Takeover - Helen Hargreaves on The Lounge Cafe One Year On

On June 15th 2018 the Lounge Cafe opened its doors for the first time, new baristas waiting in trepidation. The idea of making cappuccinos, mochas, espressos, americanos and hot chocolates together with using the frothing facility on the machines was all very daunting. As always the intrepid team got on with it and the cafe was born.

It was only week three when we had a visit from environmental health who passed our premises with the highest hygiene rating of 5.

We have opened every Friday since that very first week apart from Good Friday. Our team currently consists of 13 volunteers working on a rota in four hour shifts, morning or afternoon. Poor Martin is the person responsible for coordinating this mammoth task. We are all now wearing our new bespoke aprons which arrived in May. Fancy joining us? New volunteers are always welcome. It really is very enjoyable.

 Volunteering gives us all the chance to meet and speak to people we don`t usually have time to get to know in Church. We have also got to know each other better and made some new friends. We have had quite a few visitors who have thanked us for giving them time and for providing a listening ear. Some of our elderly visitors are accompanied by carers who appreciate a calm and helpful atmosphere. Our visitors include Church members, passers by, mums taking and collecting children from school, dog walkers and people working on laptops (making use of our free wi-fi). Some of these have become very regular customers. 

Doreen and Roy Pearson have supported us from day one. This is their Friday morning treat and we know their order before they arrive. They even came to the cafe on  the morning they had a kitchen fire. Maybe they should have invited the firemen. Gail is another of our regular customers. She enjoys meeting people, catching up, working on her laptop and having breakfast. She will also take bookings for baptisms if you let her know. 

Our cakes are a facebook favourite, they often receive compliments as does our coffee which really is very nice. A team of 9 volunteers make cakes on a rota and provide three different cakes each week. Lemon drizzle and chocolate are firm favourites.  Other cakes include chocolate brownie, caramel carrot cake, coffee and walnut, victoria sandwich , humming bird cake, chocolate orange and chocolate caramel. We provide a selection of fresh fruit, toast, cereal, tea cakes, potato cakes and crumpets. Gluten free products are also available.

The MacMillan coffee morning was exceptionally busy. It went really well and all profits went to the charity. We raised £530, thank you to everyone who supported us.

Our outreach day before Christmas was successful. We bussed some people in from local homes and provided free turkey sandwiches. This was really appreciated and was a very busy day.

It has not all been plain sailing and we have sometimes felt the urge to throw the coffee machines through the door! Occasionally we have been VERY busy but our customers appreciate that we are amateurs and volunteers. 

One year on and we are all much more confident.. We have got to know quite a number of people in our community and are looking forward to our second year in business, wondering what it will bring.

If you haven`t tried our cafe yet come and join us. You will receive a very warm welcome. The Lounge Cafe is not primarily about profit (though this does help the Church), it is more about fellowship and outreach.  



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