INSIDE the newly-opened Barista café on Sutton’s Outram Street, the staff are winding down after another busy day.
Like many other cafés, this one has everything you would expect - a range of hot drinks and snacks, ambient music internet access and newspapers.
But Barista, which was set up by the charity Framework, is also a social enterprise with the profits being ploughed back into the charity, which helps vulnerable people who may have experienced homelessness or substance addiction. Located at the site of the former Chapel House, the café is part of a brand new centre in Sutton, which also includes an editing suite offering courses in creative technology, business incubation units for budding entrepreneurs and 17 flats for vulnerable young people.
In addition, the food at Barista is provided by Framework’s own catering company Bitesize.
Staff at Barista say the complex, which was officially opened by the Duke of Gloucester last month, is providing vital employment and training for people.
Supervisor Phil Hollywood said: “It’s all about regeneration and regenerating the area.”
One of the people to benefit from a new job at Barista is 28-year-old Gemma Scott, who was a single mum for five years before she landed the role.
She said: “I was a barista before. I worked with my brother at Caffeine Rush at Mansfield Market and it’s what I enjoy doing. This came up and it was the perfect opportunity to do something I enjoy.”
Gemma, who lives in Mansfield, added that she enjoys making good coffees as well as the interaction with the customers.
Serving high quality coffee and speciality teas is something in which the Barista team take pride.
Phil says: “We serve espresso-based coffee and we only keep it for two hours. Freshness is paramount to us.”
“We aim for people to feel happy and they are willing to pay for quality. Quality is paramount to us.”
Meanwhile, the new café appears to have gone down a treat with the Sutton community.
Regular customer Julia Hill, from Skegby, said: “It’s about time we had something like this in Sutton. We had this recommended by my mum - it’s ideal for people who have just finished work. It’s lovely.”
And her friend Alison O’Connor, who is also from Skegby, added: “It’s nice to come and have a coffee - and the coffee is lovely.”
The project has received funding from a number of organisations including Framework, Ashfield District Council and East Midlands Development Agency.
Barista is open from Monday to Saturday from 9am. For details on the café and Framework, visit www.frameworkha.org.uk.