top of page
Coffee Ark

- THE ARK OF CONVERSATION -

Our Vision

TRANSFORMING LIVES ONE CUPPA AT A TIME

Our Inspiration

TRANSFORMING LIVES ONE CUPPA AT A TIME

The idea of bringing services to rural communities is not new. The inspiration for this new initiative started in 1897 with The Fenland Ark, the vision of Rev. George Broke. He wanted to create a way to easily support communities in the recently drained Fens to access church and other vital services and resources. The Fenland Ark, a 30-foot flatbottomed boat, was born and navigated the waterways towed by a horse, reaching the most rural areas on the edge of the Fens. Rev. George Broke saw a need within the community and found an innovative way to meet it, benefiting greatly all those encountered.

 

Our present day challenges are different. The topic of ‘mental health’ and proactive care to improve our communities well-being has been put to the forefront of our minds. A critical focus is on eliminating any stigmas surrounding mental health issues and the ability to create an open dialogue that enables helpful conversations. Whilst there has been a commendable amount of change, we regularly witness members of our community feeling unable to reach out for help or access the services they need. This strain between provision and demand is often more prominent in rural communities like ours. This is where Coffee Ark can make a difference.

 

Coffee Ark is run by a collaboration of likeminded people volunteering their time, all with a drive to resource their communities and beyond. Coffee Ark is a mobile coffee shop for the whole community, with a particular heart for reaching those who find themselves separated or isolated, whether through loneliness, challenges around mental health or other social circumstances.

 

The vision for Coffee Ark is to be a proactive presence in the rural community, meeting people where they are and offering generous hospitality and a radical welcome. This bold vision combines outstanding coffee and limitless generosity whenever and wherever possible. The building up of people, not profits, is our ambition.

 

We want to meet the needs of people by providing an enjoyable, safe space for the whole community to share life, grow together, find friendship and discover companionship. This will be achieved through integrated training for all volunteers, flexible yet embedded locations across Sawtry, Glatton, Holme and Connington (and we hope beyond). This will combined with a suite of welcoming best practices, enhanced by specialist mental health facilitators working in partnership with Coffee Ark.

 

Our chosen transport is 'Daisy', a professionally restored coffee shop in a converted Land Rover Defender 127. She joins us from South Cambridgeshire, where she has served the best latte in town with The Rural Coffee Project since 2016. Daisy combines the much-loved familiar rural transport of choice with an eco-friendly twist. She benefits from rooftop solar panels providing much of the energy to serve your favourite coffee.

 

Rural communities have distinct characteristics. A mobile coffee shop specifically in a Land Rover allows us to meet the growing needs of dispersed populations and remote locations head-on by enabling access to otherwise difficult to reach places (just like the original Fenland Ark); it fits perfectly in any rural setting, and is a brilliant talking point to help conversations flow.

Coffee Ark
Coffee Ark

What Is Next?

THE VISION EXTENDS BEYOND JUST SERVING COFFEE

The Night Ark is a project-focused venture, gathering men to build, make, create and talk about their well-being and mental health.

 

The Learning Ark works across different educational settings using barista workshops to talk with young people about well-being, the environment, and our planet and equip them with practical and mental skills for life.

 

We invite you to be part of the story and invest in this vision, transforming lives one cuppa at a time.

 

Meet The Team

A STRONG CORE TEAM

We have a strong core team at the forefront of this vision. Each member of this brilliant team has a passion for community and voluntarily brings their skills, experience and expertise with a shared vision to equip, enliven and enable Coffee Ark

Our Funding

THE RURAL APPROACH

To build up people, not profits is the founding ethos of Coffee Ark. To do this, we seek to partner with communities and individuals alongside grant-giving bodies and agencies to resource the work of Coffee Ark. We are proud to be a Community Interest Company (CIC) with a commitment to be embedded and invest within rural communities. The nature of a CIC is that any profit is reinvested directly back into the business, not re-distributed to shareholders.

 

The seed funding required for the Coffee Ark includes:

The purchase of ‘Daisy’ (£45K, £5K deposit with an 8- month payment agreement).

Daisy is a professionally restored coffee shop converted Land Rover 127. Lovingly restored, Daisy was once part of the MOD, has an immaculate service history, and is officially one of a kind. As a CIC, we have researched other converted vehicles and are confident that the price is realistic and value for money. A list of the specifications and equipment included is available on request.

Business set-up costs (£4K)

Marketing, training, insurance, publicity, and point of sale are pivotal to our launch. Many of these costs will be one-offs or annual expenses. These costs have been carefully researched and are comprehensive and conservative.

Ongoing income will come through sales, corporate/private hire, individual gifts and grants. Our cash flow and projections document contains a detailed income and expenditure statement.

Coffee Ark
Coffee Ark