Originally published in JesmondLocal – December 23, 2016
Jesmond café Cake Stories is set to open its doors on Christmas Day to offer a hot drink to vulnerable people in the community.
JesmondLocal spoke to Hannah Evans who, with her husband Ben, is opening their shop to provide a service for the community on what, for some, is the hardest day of the year.
Having opened in May 2015, Evans and her family, who own Cake Stories, want to get more involved with the local community, with Evans describing it as part of the company’s “ethos”.
She told us that Christmas Day’s event is “not a business move”, instead saying that “being privileged enough to own our own business means we can help bring the community together for Christmas.”
Evans sees a two-fold aim for the Christmas Day event. It is mostly for vulnerable members of the Jesmond community, “such as elderly and single parents.” The event is also targeted at those returning from Christmas services at the various Jesmond churches who can come and meet other members of their community over some cake and coffee.
She said that “Christmas can be a really difficult time”, and Cake Stories’ free hot drinks and nibbles could help to brighten someone’s day.
She told JesmondLocal there will be “free coffee, tea, and hot chocolate and some Christmas nibbles.”
If this year is a success, Evans intends to do it again next year. “I see it going one of two ways. We get inundated or no-one comes. We will be happy either way.”
Cake Stories aims to become more involved in the community over the coming years and has already taken part in some community activities.
Evans has become involved with a primary school initiative where local, vulnerable children are helped by Cake Stories by providing “consulting, baking, and confidence”.
Another way Cake Stories has helped the local community is by allowing local jewellery designers to sell their wares on the premises.
The café is “community focussed” and caters to all residents of Jesmond, with around half of their business coming from students using the shop as a place to relax and study.
Cake Stories is located on Brentwood Avenue and will be open from 11am to 1pm on Christmas Day serving free hot drinks.