Our pilot Cafe Project came to an end on Wednesday, and we can say without hesitation we went out on a high. Despite the pouring rain, the place was buzzing with people and the half term brought in the kids too, which had a wonderful effect on the sales of hot chocolate. What stood out today was the enthusiasm to get out front and talk to the customers, in total contrast to the kitchen-hugging that was happening in the first few weeks. I complimented M on his improved language skills and he grinned widely and said “Yeah but I’m not shy now so it’s easy”. But it was also great to see the camaraderie between our participants and returning customers too; to create a space for positive community interaction was important to us right from the start.
We’re going to take a break - to regroup, evaluate and re-evaluate, ask questions and think about how we're going to move forward. Whatever happens from this point on needs to be sustainable, and we have to find the best shape and fit for that. There’s a fair bit to consider but we’re feeling more positive than I think we would have ever imagined. That’s not to say we haven’t learned anything, because we have, and often things we never expected to learn. But we also learned this:
We'd like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement, and for helping us to sell out every week by eating so much falafel. We all truly appreciated the candid feedback, the offers of help and advice, and the encouragement given to the whole team, every week. Thanks to you all, and whatever we do next, we’ll certainly keep you posted.