Late last year I received a call that nobody wants to receive. There had been an incident at the BySea Coffee Lounge in Portswood, Southampton that meant we had to close our doors for a short time.
It’s taken two months of hard work, grit and determination - but we are ready - the BySea Coffee Lounge doors reopen at 9:30 on Thursday 1 February.
BySea is a social enterprise business that gives 100 per cent of its profits to the Sailors’ Society’s work supporting seafarers and their families around the world.
At the start of the process we sat down and asked ourselves the question, what opportunities can come from these challenges?
We started by taking on two new members of staff, who have a wealth of coffee shop experience. One of the new team, Conrad has even finished in the top 10 of a national barista competition.
What else has this time allowed us to do?
We’ve renegotiated some of our supply chains resulting in the same great tasting coffee at a cheaper price.
We’ve created an excellent new menu and got our alcohol licence for Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
We’ll be hosting live music nights from March and community events are booked in from the end of February.
Conrad will be sharing his wealth of barista skills by running barista training classes.
How the team has responded to the challenges is testimony to their desire to raise funds for the vital work of Sailors’ Society.
The BySea Coffee Lounge team’s cup is definitely half-full; in fact it's fuller than that because we now offer bottomless filter coffee for just £4.50. Throw in the free Wi-Fi and relaxed atmosphere and you’ve got a great study and workplace.
I look forward to seeing you there soon!
Adam Stacey is Sailors' Society's director of development, he can be found tweeting here.