We have opened up our very first café, where all the proceeds will help provide a home, food, work and training for the 27 formerly homeless people we support – known as companions.

Tea, coffee, cold drinks and homemade cake are on the menu at the café, with a selection of local Solley’s Ice Cream on sale. The café, supported by a grant from insurance company, Prudential plc, is based at our community hub, the historic Archcliffe Fort, where companions live, work and socialise.

Debra Stevenson, Community Manager at Emmaus Dover, says: “We’ve wanted to open up a café on site for a long time and our customers have been asking for it, too. The views from the Fort are beautiful, overlooking the sea and White Cliffs, so it’s a great spot for people to come and meet for a cuppa or relax after shopping at our secondhand store.

“The café will also give our companions the opportunity to complete barista training, as we’ve just had a state-of-the-art coffee machine fitted in memory of one of our wonderful companions Jason Petersen, who sadly passed away last year.”

Companion Matthew Stock helped create some beer barrel seats and a table for the café, with the seating covers made by volunteer Matthew Mullen, who runs an upholstery business called Top Cloth from the Emmaus Dover site.

Mullen says: “I started using jute coffee sacks for upcycling furniture in 2019. I’ve enjoyed working with this material on footstools and dining chairs in the past, and this latest range of seating is the most impressive and versatile, as the seat pads are removable from the barrel so they won’t get ruined in the rain.”

Our new café is open from Monday to Saturday, 10am – 4pm.

We hope to see you soon!