Friday, January 10, 2014
As well as enjoying a hot drink and a bite to eat, customers of a Bury St Edmunds cafe will soon be able to do a good deed at the same time.
Cafe owner Maria Crick, who opened Cafe del Mar in St John’s Street in October, has embraced the idea of ‘Suspended Coffee’, a movement which has been growing in popularity around the world.
It is based on a simple idea: customers can purchase an extra cup of coffee to be given to someone in need.
Ms Crick’s interest was sparked when she saw a discussion on social media website Streetlife about the possibility of starting the scheme up locally.
She said: “Because Bury is perceived as a very well-heeled area I think it gets missed there’s people who cannot afford to come out and buy a coffee.”
Ms Crick said there was no reason why cafes could not be professionally-run, with excellent food, coffee and service, and also have a social and environmental conscious.
“The world is a nicer place if a few more people do more things just to be nice to other people,” she said.
Amanda Bloomfield, chief executive of charity Gatehouse, which helps the most needy and disadvantaged in west Suffolk, said Suspended Coffee had the potential to help a particular sector of Bury society.
She said: “One of the groups of people who are not keen to accept help are the elderly because they are quite proud.
“And Bury has a high number of elderly people and a coffee shop is not somewhere they will look out of place.” She said the town’s foodbank, which Gatehouse runs, provided more than 500 food parcels last year for people in Bury, and the charity expected the need to increase at the end of this month.
Ms Crick said she needed to finalise how she was going to administer the scheme. She said there was the risk it could be abused, but she felt this was unlikely to happen in Bury.
If anyone is able to offer any advice or ideas on the initiative contact her by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the Suspended Coffee movement visit http://thesuspendedcoffees.wordpress.com