3:36pm Friday 6th September 2013
By Alex Bysouth
A COMMUNITY coffee shop is wowing Weaverham residents with its quality blends, homemade cakes and welcoming atmosphere.
The Hub, at the Stronghold on Forster Avenue, re-opened last week with a modern interior and host of affordable coffees – a small espresso costs £1 – fresh snacks and light lunches.
However, as a charity cafe run on church grounds, manager Jon Cook is keen to dispel any stereotypes and welcome new faces through the door.
“People are always surprised when they come in,” he said. “They expect to see a little hatch and some old ladies in aprons serving tea and sandwiches.
“It’s almost like some think we’ll whack them around the head with a bible, but when they see it they say ‘am I in Weaverham?’
“That’s the normal preconception – it’s a cafe and we have a chilled out place where people can come and relax.
“The moto is ‘it’s more than coffee, it’s a sanctuary.”
Jon and wife Lisa left Mitcham for Weaverham in January to become involved in the project, but the father-of-three has vast experience as a barista after training with Monmouth Coffee in Waterloo.
“Coffee and coffee shops are my passion,” explained the 36-year-old.
“As an independent cafe we grind all the beans on demand here and we use Ethical Blend, it’s ‘coffee with a conscience’.
“The wife and I make our own cakes, the signature brownies are very popular as well as the white chocolate blondies with raspberries.”
And Jon, a self-employed graphic designer outside of opening hours, is keen for the Hub to give back to the community wherever possible.
“We have people come in to get work experience, we train them and it makes it easier for them to get jobs elsewhere.
“All the decorating was done by us and local craftsmen, we wanted to try and use local people who have the knowledge and skills and you can find literally anything in Weaverham Hardware Store!
“We rival places like Costa both in terms of decor and quality product – but we’re far, far cheaper.”
The new-look Hub is set up for band nights and Jon hopes to run family film nights in the near future, utilising the big screen TV which shows Sky throughout the day.
The Hub is open Wednesday to Friday 9am to 3pm.
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