This has been written by a new TLC friend and university student, Katie Lee- thank you Katie!
Hello! My name is Katie and I’m studying at the moment – a course in Culture, Creativity and Entrepreneurship I normally generalise the content to ‘cultural policy and sustainability in the arts’,
but in fact it’s a lot more than that. By looking at culture, I’ve started to examine all parts of
everyday life, from food to leisure time to working practices, and the way these compare in different
parts of society.
For my final project I’m looking at ideas of ‘community’ – a big concept that has been written about
in many ways. I came across ToastLoveCoffee online, after following The Real Junk Food Project on
Facebook, but also through chatting with people who are connected in some way. The stories I read
and heard made me want to visit, and visiting made me sure that including TLC in my research would
I’m from Leeds, and have regular memories of popping down the road to Harehills, where my dad
would pick up bike parts from Drakes Cycles, then we’d go to one of the food shops to pick up
vegetables, spices and a massive bunch of fresh coriander for a home made curry. So I’ve always
associated the place with delicious food.
TLC adds to these memories. On a road I’ve never been down, but next to a school where my mum
used to teach, TLC offers a place to eat, relax and socialise in a different way to any other café I’ve
been to. Within 10 minutes of arriving, I was helping to make breakfast for folks working on the road
outside, and 2 hours later I left after meeting five new people and learning a heck of a lot from their
experiences. I was warmed by their generosity and willingness to chat – and overwhelmed by how
easy it was!
An alternative system means that all are welcome, and the space is facilitated by incredible staff
who, just by introducing people, are making and supporting networks every day. Its this alternative
currency that I’m really interested in – in which people give and receive time and services in return
for improved wellbeing and a full belly… Food really does make the world go round!
If you would like to share any stories about new friends or connections you’ve made through TLC –
please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org.