Wednesday 24 September 2014

Emmaus Enterprises launches café and shop in East London

aaEast London Poplar exterior of shop 140022

A new café-come-workshop-come-vintage treasure trove will launch this Friday, 26 September 2014, in Poplar.

The business replaces a small supermarket which had been abandoned, filled with rotting food and groceries, leaving the site a potential health hazard.

The Emmaus Enterprises shop - located at 175 East India Dock Rd, Poplar, E14 0EA - has been deep cleaned and revamped, thanks to a willing team of volunteers and local organisation Bounceback, which helps ex-offenders create a new life for themselves by learning painting and decorating skills. 

A café serving snacks and top quality coffee will be staffed and run by We walk the line, a social enterprise that helps people struggling to find work into self-employment.

The shop will officially open at 12 noon on Friday, with the launch date timed to coincide with the latest local Bite street food festival which celebrates foods and music from around the world.

Guests will include volunteers, funders and others who have had a hand in launching the business, which raises funds to support formerly homeless people and offers opportunities to those who have been long-term unemployed. Shoppers and others interested in the project are also encouraged to come along.

Three people have already been referred by Urban Futures to an apprenticeship scheme at the shop, which will offer participants the chance to gain retail and customer service skills as well as teaching them how to ‘upcycle’ donated items of furniture and clothing.

Recent appeals for volunteers have been hugely successful, but Mark O’ Brien, project manager, said: “Emmaus East London is truly a social enterprise, which is why we are keen to deliver social impact through all of our partnerships. We would love to have as many people as possible come along and visit us on Friday to see the kind of things we are selling and perhaps join our team of volunteers, who have helped make our shop look so amazing and will be helping us get off the ground.”

A ‘cabinet of curiosities’ designed and built by students from UCL should catch the eye of potential bargain hunters - and those who are keen on reuse and recycling - as it is made from donated tv cabinets rescued by Emmaus Greenwich, one of the shops run by Emmaus that supports people who have experienced homelessness.

The shop is just the first in a series of social enterprises planned by Emmaus in East London.

To find out more about the launch, just contact Mark on 07903 331 382 or shop manager, Stephanie Gillespie, on 020 7538 1132.