As part of a series of reports on church run coffee shops, Graeme Duncan pays a visit to Taste Community Cafe in Ipswich.
Taste Community Cafe at 426A, Woodbridge Road, has found full ‘flavour’ in the community of east Ipswich. Opened by the nearby St. John The Baptist Church in 2011, it is managed today by Sara Pells and Anna Coleman, together with a committed band of about fifteen Christian volunteers from eight different Ipswich churches.
I spoke with Sara Pells who told me that the aim of the cafe is to provide Christian support
within the local community. They have also recently started a ‘Dementia Cafe’ to support
those with degenerative brain conditions and suffering from memory loss. This runs
fortnightly on Monday afternoons between 1pm and 4pm. ‘We are offering quizzes, games,
bingo, and are trying to make up a timetable of events to run on those days’, said Sara.
The session is also a support network for carers who can come and talk to other carers and create a new community.
The cafe caters for a cross section of the community, and a wide range of ages, from
youngsters in pushchairs to senior citizens. It has become a well known meeting place in the area. For the children there are toys to play with and colouring-in books to use, while parents enjoy their coffee and chat.
Taste Cafe has a loyal band of customers, some of whom come in two or three times a week. One couple come in nearly every day for what they say is some of the best coffee in Ipswich.
Some are happy to sit and do a crossword, or read a newspaper while enjoying their coffee
and cake. Some even bring in their knitting and for those who are lonely the staff are always on hand for a friendly chat. Recently the cafe even celebrated the wedding of one couple who had met each other there!
Ed, a volunteer at the cafe, told me that he liked meeting all sorts of different customers who come there. ‘It’s good to engage with people who are often quite lonely and be able to chat with them. It’s a door that often opens up into chatting about my outlook on life and my faith’, said Ed.
Taste Cafe offers a wide range of very reasonably priced, freshly made, coffees and teas, as well as cake and snacks. You can also buy sandwiches from the bakery next door and they’ll provide a plate alongside your drink!
Opening hours are:
Monday – 9am to 12noon
Tuesday – 9am to 4pm
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – 9am to 12noon
Saturday – 10am to 12.30pm
Sunday & Bank holidays – Closed
You can contact the cafe by email:
Taste Cafe, 426A, Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 4EL
Trip Advisor – FIVE STAR rating *****
The community of east Ipswich have certainly embraced Taste Cafe and it looks set to grow from strength to strength. Do pay them a visit.