BeanBag Café CIC was founded by Roy, the idea probably being inspired by too much coffee one day! After working in large corporations for over 25 years, most recently as marketing director in a multi-million turnover international software company, he developed a passion for social enterprise and community cafés. He ran a youth café in a county town for four years, a pop-up café in a rural church hall for five-years, plus a refectory in an adult education centre and a coffee-cart in a public library. The accumulated knowledge from starting and running these enterprises with no particular background in the hospitality sector, formulated the idea of creating a ‘Community Café Blueprint’ and using it to offer tailored support through a social enterprise to individuals and organisations wanting to start and run their own community café projects.
This is partly a family business as co-director Rebecca is Roy’s eldest daughter and the family jokes that coffee runs in its veins! After university she took a temporary job in a high street coffee shop chain whilst “trying to decide what to do with her life”. She discovered she excelled at customer service and business management, became a manager in just one year, and then ran stores in a variety of locations over the next seven years. In helping Roy set up a pop-up café in his local community and volunteering there on a regular basis, she also developed the passion to share the concept with others. As well as continuing to assist in community café development, Rebecca now runs an amazing social enterprise, a pre-loved clothing boutique which supports women in challenging circumstances.
With a name suggested over tea-time one evening by sister and daughter Joelle (coffee BEAN, tea BAG, community CAFÉ) BeanBag Café CIC was founded. At the time of writing, the team has now run or supported 13 café enterprises delivering social impact.
A profile of our community café development support work can be found here.