Galloway’s Society for the Blind’s first social enterprise coffee shop was officially opened by the Queen’s Guide to the Sands, Cedric Robinson MBE, in the former Visitor newspaper building today, Wednesday.
Designed to be a more public face to Galloway’s, Brew Me Sunshine is situated on Victoria Street, in the centre of Morecambe.
Stuart Clayton, chief executive at Galloway’s, said: “I’m delighted. The building was always meant to be used ideally as a community based asset. The feedback we have got from the community and volunteers has just been fantastic. We’ve worked tirelessly over the last three years to ensure that not only is our new Morecambe hub of the highest standard for local people living with sight loss but that we are able to use this opportunity to engage with the wider public about our work.
“The new coffee shop, at the front of the building, will provide a place where local people can spend time together to enjoy coffee and marvellous things, in stylish and comfortable surroundings.
“The coffee shop will also offer an opportunity for those who are interested to find out more about sight loss, the importance of eye health care and the work of Galloway’s across Lancashire and Sefton.
“The coffee shop will be opening to the general public on Friday October 7.”
Cedric Robinson MBE, the Queen’s Guide to the Sands, officially opened the cafe today, Wednesday.
Cedric said: “It’s wonderful. We first came when Galloway’s purchased the building and I could hardly believe it when we came today. It’s absolutely marvellous. I’ve been involved with Galloway’s for over 20 years and have done two walks a year to raise funds for the charity. They seem to raise vast amounts of money and I’m always pleased to help.
“This is marvellous and should do really well because there are lots of shops nearby. It should have a good future.
“I get paid £15 a year from the Queen to do the cross bay walks and Galloway’s have been very kind and good because they always donate something towards taking people across the bay.”
Anna Scott, community fundraiser for Galloway’s, said: “The café is open to the public on Friday but if people are interested in hiring rooms we will be able to show them around. Enquiries for office space are from now!
“The old Galloway’s building on Balmoral Road has been sold to Church By The Bay who used to rent the building.”
Brent Clayton, partner at the Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP), the architect, design and master-planning practice behind the coffee shop’s look, said: “It’s absolutely brilliant to see Brew Me Sunshine come to life after the initial idea was mooted some time ago.”
FWP, which is based in Preston, has been involved in the Victoria Street project from day one.
Brent said: “We’re really proud to have worked with Galloway’s on this worthwhile community project and wish them every success with the new venture. We are sure it will be really popular.
“As a business, we have a close relationship with the charity and members of our staff have been involved in fundraising efforts for the organisation, including sponsoring and taking part in their famous Morecambe Bay Walk.”
Brew Me Sunshine prides itself on good quality local products.
Serving many varieties of Loose Leaf Tea from the Brew Tea Co based in Manchester, local free range milk from Morecambe based Stephenson dairies as well as homemade cakes from Morecambe based cake supplier ‘Sarah’s Cakes and Bakes’. Even their crockery is locally supplied.
Beth Norwood, manager at Brew Me Sunshine, said: “It’s been an exciting journey, especially the last few weeks, busily setting up and training our new staff. We just can’t wait to open now. Our first ray of sunshine will be brewed at 10am on Friday October 7, please join us if you can.”
Galloway’s support over 7,000 local blind and partially sighted people each year through a wide variety of services. The charity needs to raise £1million this year alone, to ensure that nobody in the local community has to face sight loss alone, or without the right support in the Lancashire area.
For more information call Galloway’s on 01524 414846.