This year we have been supporting the development and publication of a ‘Guide to Setting up and Running a Community Café’. The Guide is being developed in collaboration with the community organisations currently managing Community Cafés in Limerick City – Moyross Community Enterprise Centre, St. Munchin’s Community Enterprise Centre, The Learning Hub, St. Mary’s Aid, Our Lady of Lourdes, Tait House and Southill Hub, as well as the Northside FRC.
Over the past year, as part of our Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP), we have been working with the organisations managing the 7 community cafés in the city to 1) identify and address support needs and 2) identify shared learning and best practices. Many of the issues being explored and addressed were common across all the community cafés, and in addressing these issues, learning was being generated and shared among the Community Cafes management and staff. The community organisations, working with the SICAP Social Enterprise (SE) Officer, decided to formally document this learning in the form of a ‘Guide to Setting Up and Running a Community Café’.
Facilitated by the SICAP SE Development Officer, the managers of the Community Cafes came together to share ideas, learning and to agree the content for the Guide. At the same time, the SE Development Officer organised a number of training days covering topics such as Plating and Presentation, Pricing and Costing and Customer Service which were attended by the managers and staff of the participating Community Cafés. The learning from these training days was incorporated into the Guide.
The Guide highlights the important and varied role played by community cafés in their local communities, the key challenges faced by them, as well as learning and best practices. It is hoped that this Guide can be used by other community organisations around the country to either 1) help them to improve the overall sustainability of their own Community Cafes or 2) to guide the establishment of new Community Cafés in line with best practices.
The Guide will be launched at the national Social Enterprise Forum in Sligo on November 22nd. It is anticipated that the Community Café Project will continue beyond the publication of the Guide. With facilitation support from SICAP, the Community Cafes involved in this project will continue to come together to identify and address emerging learning and support needs.
To learn more about the project and the Guide, click on the video link below…