This café was a big change for me. I had worked in music events and festivals from managing a music festival in Cheltenham to tour management which took me to New York.
I became interests in food ethics and where food comes from, but I was far from a foodie. My partner supported me while I took a year to research and work part time in cafes to understand the industry and learn before starting this place. I volunteered and worked part-time in a few places including the Spike Island Café, and The Station Kitchen in Bristol. They were so open and helpful.
A lot of cafes start and fail and I want this to be sustainable in all senses of the word. I want this place to be an ethical sustainable business. I pay the business rates, for BANES, which aren’t cheap, and although it has been suggested, I am not going to register as a CIC or charity to get an 80% reduction in my rates. I don’t pay myself the full time salary as I should yet in this new business, which I could afford to do if I registered as a charity. I am stubborn. I want to prove to myself and everyone that it is possible to be ethical, pay tax and do the right thing while being successful and sustainable in business. If I can do it, then the multinationals we all know can pay their share of tax too. They need to up their game.
Today I have a DIY day here at the café. I am staying away from the counter so that I can get some other things done. I did the floor recently. I am helping install the Artspace gallery upstairs today, which will be there until December. After that I am off to pick up my daughter from nursery and hang out with her.
I was on Radio Bristol promoting the Kindness Festival yesterday. I forgot some of the things I wanted to say I think! The festival is running all this week and into next week. I will be on the radio again on Saturday to promo the events here and at Somerdale, which is on from 10-2. There is so much on. There are events on at the Chocolate Quarter, Fear Hall, the Men’s Hut, and the Scout Hut, as well as at Community at 67 up on Queens Road. It's all on the website.
This is an exciting week for us here at the café which really sums up what we are about. As part of the Kind Keynsham Festival we have a pay it forward Cake for Heroes scheme running this week. People can donate a piece of cake and nominate a person to receive it. Yesterday someone came in and said that ‘the lady from the council offices with curly hair’ had been so helpful to him earlier in the day that he would like to buy her a piece of cake. So some of the nominations are of specific people. Some people have left email addresses of the person who has been a hero. Other people are just choosing from a category of hero, such as NHS worker, full time carer, police or fire officer, forces person or educator. I am looking forward to an amazing day next week of wandering around town, giving people slips which let them know that they have been nominated for a slice of cake because they are a hero.
Do you know a hero?