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Community coffee hub opens despite virus

By Harriet Evans | Dudley | Dining out | Published:

A woman whose ambition to create community hub was postponed by coronavirus, has taken her first steps in opening her business.

Mark Stewardson, director of Stewardson Developments, Harvey Pearson, director at Hexagon Commercial Property in Stourbridge, and Glenda Taylor

Three months later than planned, and with social distancing very much in place, Glenda Taylor has welcomed her first sit-in customers through the doors of Oh-So Coffee on Barnett Lane in Kingswinsford.

Glenda said: “Opening my own coffee shop has always been my dream. I am very community-spirited and after spending 25 years in the financial sector I wanted to create a place where people could come in, drink coffee, eat cake and spend time with friends and family.

“Because of the outbreak, our original Easter launch was delayed until we took the plunge and opened for takeaway in late June.

"The community got behind us right away and the feedback has been fantastic, so as soon as we felt safe to do so, we opened part of the coffee shop for sit-in customers.

"Even though we were nervous about opening during such a difficult time and with so much regulation, receiving such warm feedback has made it feel so much easier.”

Her original plan was to staff the coffee shop with part-time employees who could work flexibly around childcare and other commitments, now she is joined by two family friends.

Glenda added: “This is not the business I had envisaged but I will continue to adapt to make it a success. It’s been a steep learning curve, but we have grabbed it by the horns and ran with it.

“People are going through a lot worse right now.”

Despite the setback, community remains at the heart of the business; produce is sourced from local artisans and her cakes are from the shop’s previous tenant, a bespoke cake maker.

Harvey Pearson, Director at Hexagon Commercial Property in Stourbridge, arranged the pre-let of the shop before it was bought by commercial landlords Stewardson Developments.

Harriet Evans

By Harriet Evans
Community Reporter - @HarrietEvans_ES

Community Reporter at the Express & Star, covering the issues affecting young people across the Black Country and Staffordshire. Contact me at harriet.evans@expressandstar.co.uk

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