In the name of ‘research’ I have been frequenting cafes, coffee houses, delis and coffee shacks.
Just yesterday and today, I have had the absolute pleasure of chatting with the owners of two of these; Taste on Chapeltown Road (mentioned in a previous post) and Cielo in Garforth. Each conversation gives me more confidence, and makes my dream of this coffee lover’s paradise with great bakes and healthy lunch options, with community at the heart, a step closer.
I was asked today, ‘what does success mean to you?’
And I have a very clear vision of my ‘yes’ moment, when I know that toastlovecoffee is a success: when my tennis buddy, a retired midwife, is volunteering in the cafe, and she is talking with a young, pregnant woman. Perhaps this lady is caught up in the asylum seeking process and hasn’t even had a chance to think about the new life growing inside her. She is scared and feels completely helpless. And for those ten minutes, I will witness a change. Eye contact, concern, smiles. Perhaps my tennis buddy has given this lady the best gift in the world; a sign that there is help out there, that she can access it, that maybe, just maybe, this wretched life that she is living could be turned around. And all around, the beautiful smell of fresh coffee and freshly toasted bread lingers…
Taste and Cielo are both incredibly inspirational places, in their own way. Gary (Taste) and Nick (Cielo) have very different approaches to their eateries, neither have a background in business or hospitality and catering, and both share a passion for community.
The network is growing, the pieces are beginning to fit into place, I am collecting a huge amount of goodwill. This really IS going to happen, and it WILL be a success. If you will it, it is no dream.
Gary with his locally made handmade plates
The bar at Cielo