One of Wales’ top social enterprises is to bring its mix of cracking coffee, cakes and catering training to Rhyl with the opening of a brand new community café.
Award-winning CAIS Social Enterprises (CSE) says it will replicate the success of its existing venue in Colwyn Bay when it opens the latest branch of Porter’s Coffee Shop next week.
The business, at Rhyl Library and One Stop Shop on Church Street, will also offer rewarding volunteering opportunities and employability programmes – with all profits reinvested in schemes to benefit the community.
Catering manager Mark Welsh said he and his team were looking forward to bringing the high-end, modern look of Porter’s to the centre of Rhyl as the town continues to benefit from large-scale regeneration.
“Contractors are currently preparing our new unit, but we can’t wait to open the doors to our new premises in Rhyl,” he said.
“Just like Porter’s in Colwyn Bay, we’ll offer a great range of locally-sourced food and drink, relaxed surroundings and fantastic value – all while helping people take their next steps into work or training.
“By supporting us, our customers are helping trainees and volunteers pick up the skills and experience they need – and we’d urge them to keep their eyes peeled for exciting special offers and VIP treats over the coming weeks and months.”
Last month CSE, which also runs the Station Court meetings and events venue in Colwyn Bay and Troop Café community veterans’ hub in Llandudno, was named as one of the nation’s top social businesses at an awards ceremony at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea.
Victory in the health and social care category of the Social Business Wales Awards recognised CSE’s burgeoning reputation for helping people furthest from the jobs market get closer to and into work.
So far CSE has helped around 80 people build confidence, improve customer service skills, and pick up qualifications through a number of programmes offering practical learning and on-the-job experience.
The café will also enhance the services already on offer at the Rhyl One Stop Shop following refurbishment of Rhyl Library by Denbighshire County Council last year.
Those works brought all information and council services under one roof, and allow the building to host a wide range of public events and information sessions. Porter’s will be able to offer refreshments and catering for groups using the building’s modern meeting room facilities.
Councillor Hugh Irving, Cabinet Lead Member with responsibility for libraries and One Stop Shops, said: “We are delighted to have worked closely with the social enterprise to see this new development become a reality.
“Rhyl Library is much more than a place to borrow books. It is a one stop shop for people to access a wide range of council services under one roof and a great place for social interaction for members of the public.
“The café is an important element of our development at Rhyl Library and we are pleased to have an enterprise of this calibre operating the café.
“The fact they also provide opportunities for training and personal development is another important element, as this also reflects one of the Council’s key priorities of creating work and training opportunities for local residents.
“We would like to wish the enterprise every success with their new venture.”
Derek Walker, chief executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre, the national body for social enterprises and co-operatives in Wales, said: “We wish CAIS the very best of luck with this new coffee shop venture in Rhyl.
“It is refreshing to see a social enterprise which isn’t content with supporting one community, but has real ambition and drive to take a business model it has had success with and replicate it in new areas of the country all the while helping to support more individuals furthest from the labour market.”