The weather was vile on Wednesday and relentless torrents of rain meant the people of Guildford were not on the streets. Taking plates of samples outside to lure people in, while successful last week, was impossible; the falafel would have turned to soup in seconds. Vicki and I were looking without enthusiasm at the planned walk to local businesses to deposit our newly crafted flyers, when we were delighted by the surprise arrival of Akira, who is always a great hit with everybody. Within minutes, he was dispatched with one of the team to wade through the downpour on said delivery mission, which we hope won't make him think twice about offering to help out again.
Still, people did come, and this week we even had telephone orders in advance. A true highlight was the chance to meet Abeer, a local Syrian baker supported by Elmbridge CAN, who had made a stand of baclava for us and brought them down personally with Vicki to see the project for herself. This was good, as I hadn’t trusted Vicki not to eat it all on the way down, and with Abeer’s presence, the baclava arrived untouched. And it proved very popular (see Ray's face in the photo below).
It was great to welcome some of our friends from Citizens UK, Elmbridge CAN, other local businesses and even from Surrey Police (“But will they pay or just take it?” J asked us, which though making us smile, also brought the reminder that contact with police in other countries can be very different to here, and therefore suspicion, hesitation and distrust felt towards them is pretty understandable). Our running pal Andy once again proved his exceptional Number-One-Customer loyalty by barely breaking his stride as he sprinted in soaking wet, grabbed his falafel, shouted cheerful greetings and ran out back into the storm. If we ever get a loyalty card system going, Andy will truly reap the benefits.
Two Wednesdays left to run for our Cafe Project pilot. Please drop by next Wednesday from 12pm if you can.