Here and Now at Phoenix…

Its been a while since the last blog post and Phoenix has developed a lot.  So much has changed, but rather than going over the last 8 months its best to start with where we are now.  I have learnt a lot, but that’s what Phoenix is about.  You will have to bear with me as I am far from being a writer, but who likes it formal anyway?

We have just launched our new menu and have had a great reaction so far, but it is still changing and we are still learning.  The team of volunteers at Phoenix have been a huge contribution to this; listening to the customers, taking on their own roles, supporting one another and helping Phoenix grow.  I probably would have given up months ago if I didn’t have the team I have.  Let me introduce you…

Cullen/Coffee King applied through Do-it and knew he was going to be an asset as soon as I met him.  Cullen loves coffee and a real perfectionist!  Although he only started working 3 days a week, he now comes in Mon-Fri to banter with customers, make and drink coffee.  He has now become a bit of a legend in Pithay Studios.  Although he is the baby of the bunch, he’s probably the wisest.

Laura/Spanish Toastie Queen started as a volunteer through Skipchen.  I thought we scared her off with Minestrone soup(she couldn’t get how to say it).  She then returned with friends to drink coffee as a customer and we finally got her back on board using Cullen’s charm.  Again, Laura started 1 or 2 days a week and is now in nearly every day!  She is also my food PA as she texts me at 10pm to remind me what food I need to buy for the cafe the next day… so everyone would be having beans on toast if it wasn’t for Laura

Jen/Yen.  I met Jen when she was interested in selling her Macrame in the cafe, in which I exchanged it for her volunteering time instead of commission.  She volunteered by being my in house gardener, keeping my poor plants alive.  I didn’t realise how good a photographer she was.  Obviously I do now as she takes all our photos!  She’s always so positive and willing to help with anything.

Sophie/ SF.  We had our first exhibition in the cafe, Symbiosis, a few months ago.  We had a lot of artists work in, but Sophie enjoyed doodling in the cafe for the exhibition.  I asked her to draw on our mirror as an extra piece, which is still there.  The team loved Sophie’s work and vibe, so she is now our in-house artist! She has completely re-branded Phoenix to an amazing standard.  Plus she’s there, without fail, behind the bar at our acoustic nights.

Beth/The Clever Ditsy Nutritionist.  Beth applied through Do-it and was full of beans when I met her.  She was so excited to get involved, although she knocks into things, she works really hard and is Cullen’s long lost twin.  They are inseperable(they go get vegan brownies from Roll for the Soul after every shift) She is this amazing ball of energy!!

We have had a few different volunteers(Jamie, Jose, Sookie, Sinead) and more starting soon.  The guys have been so patient with me as I have learnt how this business malarky works.  They have created the Phoenix family and the most amazing atmosphere in the cafe, I honestly love my job because of them!

This is probably a more personal/cheesy post, but the Phoenix family is what makes it such a chilled place to hang out and work.  Future posts I’ll go through hurdles and information on how anyone can start a business from almost nothing.  If I can do it, anyone can.