New café at popular Stowmarket park opens its doors for takeaways

Volunteer Marina Burch at the Café on the Rec which opened on Monday

Volunteer Marina Burch at the Café on the Rec which opened on Monday - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A new café with future ambitions to become a community hub has opened at a Stowmarket park offering takeaway services.

The Café on the Rec opened for the first time on Monday to serve takeaway coffee, snacks, bacon rolls and pastries at the town's Recreation Ground.

The Salvation Army had previously taken on temporary leases of the unit, situated next to the skate park and public playground, but never on a permanent basis. 

The charity has now gained a year-long lease and café coordinators for the charity Sandra and Steve Ambrose were thrilled to be able to open for takeaway during the first few days of sunny weather, which drew many families and young people to the park.

Sandra Ambrose and her husband Steve are café coordinators for the Salvation Army

Sandra Ambrose and her husband Steve are café coordinators for the Salvation Army - Credit: Charlotte Bond

"It's just been amazing and overwhelming the past few days," Mrs Ambrose said. 

"I personally have a strong faith and want to thank God for what he has done."

Mrs Ambrose said the café will really become a community hub once they can put chairs outside in April and then open the indoors in May.

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She said it is being run by volunteers and people who want to get back in the workplace, young people looking for experience or even those who have retired and want to give back to the community.

The Café on the Rec is now doing takeaway service located in the heart of the Stowmarket park

The Café on the Rec is now doing takeaway service located in the heart of the Stowmarket park - Credit: Charlotte Bond

"We have a lot of ideas for activities, such as a story time for pre-schoolers, but they're not set in stone and we're really flexible because we're here to provide what the community needs," she said. 

"The Café on the Rec is not just a place to grab a coffee, it's a place where everyone is welcome, run by the community and for the community, embracing Stowmarket Salvation Army's motto; love God love others."

Mrs Ambrose said the team of volunteers have already become like a family and are mostly from the local community.

Customers Jana and Steve with their dog Brandy, enjoying a cup of coffee from the Café on the Rec

Customers Jana and Steve with their dog Brandy, enjoying a cup of coffee from the Café on the Rec - Credit: Charlotte Bond

There are some plans to offer local businesses the chance to get involved as friends of the café, with financial investment and potential advertising opportunities.

Anyone wanting to get in touch about volunteering, business or community opportunities can ring 07730 892 037 or email cafeontherec@gmail.com

The unit at Stowmarket Recreation Ground has been leased to the Salvation Army for one year

The unit at Stowmarket Recreation Ground has been leased to the Salvation Army for one year as a community hub and café - Credit: Charlotte Bond

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