The café was founded in 2005 by Anne Curtis and Jenny Weaving, and they were later joined by Jenny Bone. It was felt that it should be run under the auspices of St John the Baptist Church, particularly as the church room was going to be used for the café. Having visited other church-based cafes and got some ideas of how to run the café, the ladies decided to go for a 'classy' image and to make the atmosphere as authentic as possible. Hence proper tablecloths and fresh flowers!
The original team also decided to serve only Fairtrade tea, coffee, and hot chocolate, and we've continued with that ethos ever since. Cakes were, and still are, mainly home-made - we have a regular supply of cakes from villagers, and some weeks we're inundated with cakes - not that we're complaining!
The first couple of years were very successful, but in September 2006, after a couple of tries during the summer term, the team decided to move the café to the Methodist Church, in the middle of the village. It was felt that if it was in a more central location, more people might be encouraged to pop in for a cuppa and a slice or two of cake! Early signs in 2006 were good, and the café continued to thrive in its new form.
After a few months, Jenny W and Anne felt that it was time to move on, and so Carole Watts and Mel Gulliford, who had been long-standing customers at the original café, volunteered to step on board and become full-time members of the team.
We celebrate our birthday in May each year, usually with a home-made birthday cake complete with candles, and our Christmas cafés are now the stuff of legends. We always aim to have a free raffle, crackers, and homemade food, as well as a visit from Father Christmas. The KBS café has also got involved in the annual Fun Factor, providing refreshments for parents, whilst their children take part in the activities.
The café has always made a small profit right from the start, and so it was felt that it was only right to support the community in whatever way we could. Many village organisations, including the Toddler Group, Southmoor Pre School, the Brownies, Guides, Scouts, Kingsmoor Day Centre, and the KBS 14-18 Drop-in Group, have all benefited over the years from donations. We will continue to support well-deserving local causes wherever we can.
We are always grateful to receive offers of home-made cakes, and we're delighted if people volunteer to either help set up or pack up at the end of the morning. We are open every Thursday (come rain, shine, sleet, or snow) from 9am till 12 noon.
Thanks must go to all the villagers who've supported us over the last five years - we really couldn't do it without you! And long may the KBS Café continue!
"We are friends you haven't yet met"
Mel Gulliford (821087)