Coffee, Cake and Creating Change, Part 2
In Tuesday’s post we interviewed Matt Fleming, manager of Allsaints, a local coffee and sandwich café based in the heart of Leatherhead, Surrey. Here, we follow up part 1 of Matt’s interview with the second half of our time with him.
Allsaints run after school sessions and evening youth groups – what kind of impact have these had in the local community?
Leatherhead Youth Project – which Allsaints is a part of – run an allotment which some of the young people now head up. There’s a big community within the site and it’s quite a different landmark because our church building itself is not like a youth club you’d normally see; there is a youth club actually just down the road and we work closely with them. Just knowing we’re here five days a week – which isn’t a normal thing for a youth club – that’s why we say we’re a café, it’s not a club that’s just open to young people.
What is one of Allsaints most notable achievements so far?
Finding the amount of funding that has allowed us to be open for almost a year has been incredible. This initaitive was dreamt up in 2014 and it’s taken us just a year to get going, which is a huge achievement in itself. Having the opportunity to influence young people in the area and being able to employ some of them has been amazing. Serving 1000 coffees in our second month was also a notable achievement for us. We work hard, the momentum is crazy, but it’s an exciting adventure, that’s for sure.
LYP’s 10th anniversary has just passed and to get to that 10 year mark is unreal! Allsaints is all about people, about community – it’s the one thing that really drives us; we’re passionate about the local community and definitely want to do more. It’s the people here that really matter to us.
What’s your dream/vision for the next 12 months?
One of our dreams is just to employ more young people and to grow. We can never know what that looks like, maybe expand into a more central area, and that just depends on the staffing. To grow deeply within the community, hopefully to link in some different projects, we’d like to do some band nights, maybe some jazz nights … just to get us on the map. One real aim is to get us self sufficient; we’re not quite over the mark where we’re turning over yet. Also, for other people to use our model; social enterprises aren’t known for making money, lots of them are government funded and lots of them don’t make money, and therefore they don’t grow. I really want the model to change.
Apart from becoming dedicated coffee lovers, how can people get involved and support Allsaints?
One of the most important things is for people to come and enjoy the space, but apart from that, just keep in touch with the community events; we’ve got a board with numerous different local events that we try and keep updated. Support us on Facebook and all social media, and help us grow – but obviously one of the main things is to keep buying our coffee! If anyone does have fun, innovative ideas on how to support Allsaints, we’d love to hear from them as we’re always open to fresh ideas.
Last question: latte, cappuccino, flat white, other?
Flat white – most coffee shop managers would definitely not have milk in their coffee, but I like it.
If you’d like to know more about Allsaints, visit their website here, or find them on Facebook. You can also contact Matt on [email protected] For more information about Leatherhead Youth Project, read our previous post here, or for any donations contact Allsaints, Kingston Road, Leatherhead KT22 7BT.