Emmaus Colchester have today opened a brand new shop and café in the heart of Colchester’s thriving Crouch Street shopping Quarter.

Emmaus New Life, as the new shop will be known, is an emporium of vintage and upcycled furniture, high end and designer clothing and café that will serve specialty teas and coffees along with a selection of cakes and biscuits.

Housed in the old Lloyds Bank building, the shop has been completely gutted, re-built and remodelled by Emmaus Colchester companions, all formally homeless people, and is testament to their hard work and dedication. Where possible all the fixtures and fittings have be upcycled and re-used, including the old cashier desk, which now takes pride of place as a till point and wrapping station.

Phil Archer, a companion at Emmaus Colchester, who has lived in the community for two years said, “Working on the Crouch Street shop, and seeing the project through from start to finish, has given me the chance to use my existing skills and I am really proud of what we have achieved.”

Emmaus Colchester provides a home, support, training and volunteer opportunities for 35 people who have experienced homelessness enabling them to rebuild their lives and move on to independent living.

Denise King, CEO said: “We are all so proud of our Emmaus New Life shop and café, Crouch Street is a fantastic location and we are looking forward to being part of the community in this part of town. Our companions have worked incredibly hard to transform the building into the retail outlet you now see and we are thrilled with how it looks.”

Companions volunteer full time while they are at Emmaus, selling second-hand furniture and household goods at its two shops on Colchester High Street and now Crouch Street. The Emmaus Works shop is on Osborne Street and the warehouse on Arthur Street.

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