Life can often be unpredictable. Sometimes the path our life takes is far different to how we once imagined it would be.
After immigrating to the United Kingdom in 2017 I felt unsure of many things, my future career being one of them. I had originally studied a B.A in Media and Communication back at university in my home country,South Africa. Although it seemed like a good degree to study at the time, I never found much joy in the work. Soon after leaving university I realised that I had no idea what I wanted to do, although I was fairly certain it wasn’t going to be in media.
My parents decided to move to the United Kingdom in 2015 and after a couple of years working abroad, I ended up following them. When I arrived in the UK in the Autumn of 2017, I was excited, although very unsure of my next step.
I had always dreamt of opening my very own cafe/roastery. I imagined serving quality coffee and artisanal pastries to people passing by, but that was just a pipeline dream at the time.
Unsure of what to do, I decided to spend my time helping others while my cafe/ roastery idea sat on the back burner. It would give me time to think, save up and to start brainstorming while also doing something constructive.
I began working as a social worker for adults who had various forms of learning difficulties . It was not the path I had ever envisioned myself going down, but it has been one of the most enriching and wonderful experiences of which I am very grateful for.
It is now almost 3 and a half years on and I feel like I am ready to spread my wings. After working with all of these wonderful people with various learning difficulties who have so much to offer, my cafe/roastary concept had slightly changed.I still want to embark on the same goal of being the boss of my very own coffee cafe/roastary business, although now I’d also like to offer a platform for people with learning disabilities of all ages and backgrounds to take part in it by offering workshops, employment and education to them.
My vision is a cafe and roastary offering work and learning experiences to people who might not usually be able to get them.
Once up and running, I would like to invite people from any background and with any type of learning disability to be a part of the business by holding open days and workshops to teach them how to brew coffee, bake pastries, roast coffee beans and interact with customers. I feel like promoting peoples independence and helping them recognise a feeling of self worth is priceless. If they’re really into what they learn then I’d be happy to leave a door open for a chance of employment.
The people who I have worked with over the last three years are all capable of great things, and I know that there are more people just like them from all over the United Kingdom who would absolutely love an opportunity to learn a new skill and take part in something like this.
Initially I would like to start off with one roastary and one coffee shop to be able to focus my full attention and time on fine tuning the idea and getting the ball rolling. Down the line I envision holding monthly workshops within the community where I would offer an opportunity to anyone interested to be a part of creating their own coffee beans and learning various aspects of the trade. Eventually the dream would be to expand all over the UK providing opportunities for many other people with learning difficulties.
The workshops would be run at no cost to those who wish to take part.
I hope that after reading through my concept you see some potential in it. I believe that it could be beneficial to many people across the UK and would love it to come to fruition with your help.
Stay safe during these testing times,