Entrepreneurial mums win business award
Coffee Couture opened its doors in November 2013 and has already been recognised as the best community business at the first Grassroots Enterprise Awards.
Managed by The Pride of Dee Park, a community group of entrepreneurial mums, Coffee Couture is run as a not-for-profit business working for the benefit of local residents. All profits are invested back into Dee Park, with a particular focus on helping children and young people in the neighbourhood.
In June, after overwhelming feedback and support from residents, The Pride of Dee Park were awarded £5,000 as part of Reading Borough Council’s Decent Neighbourhood Funding initiative. A further£5,000 was donated by the Dee Park Partnership, a joint venture between Willmott Dixon and Catalyst Housing which is undertaking the regeneration of Dee Park.
The volunteers have gone through rigorous food safety and barista training to offer a range of coffees, fresh sandwiches, paninis and cakes. The café provides local employment and in the long term will support projects in the community for young people and families on the estate.
Catalyst Gateway has supported this project by funding training on how to set up a community interest company as well as helping with setting up the lease of the café. .
Reading Borough Council recently granted planning permission for the latest phase of the Dee Park Regeneration programme which will provide 145 new homes and new retail units including shared housing management offices for Catalyst and Reading Borough Council.
Kirsty Daniels, Pride of Dee Park:
“This is absolutely incredible. We have all worked incredibly hard to make the café a hub for the community and to receive this sort of recognition when we’ve only just started is a great boost.”
Tina Ford, community regeneration advisor, Catalyst Gateway said:
“For almost three years we have been supporting The Pride of Dee Park. It’s been a genuine pleasure to watch them grow in confidence and ambition, becoming much more than event organisers.”
Simon Maddox, accountant at Owadly and King, handing out the awards:
“It’s humbling to see these inspiring entrepreneurs getting out there and achieving incredible things. Volunteering and getting involved in supporting grassroots enterprise really has changed my life, so it was really exciting to see these incredible businesses.”
“The judges were both impressed with Coffee Couture’s commitment to the community of Dee Park, Reading, but also their ability to create livelihoods from their community cafe, newspaper, events and playgroups.”