Big hearted b.kinda coffee shop will support St Luke’s care
The first b.kinda coffee shop is on course to open in Plympton early in 2023, marking the start of an exciting new venture from the commercial arm of St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth.
Aiming to bring in vital funds to support our compassionate end of life care across the city and beyond, it’s part of our ongoing mission to establish additional, sustainable income streams, expanding on the traditional models of retail and fundraising.
St Luke’s has taken on the lease on a property in the centre of Plympton, previously the home of the Finla independent cafe, as our flagship b.kinda brand coffee shop, with a view to opening more in other locations in the future.
Open for business seven days a week by April, following a major refit, all profits from the business will go directly towards the care and support the we offer patients and their loved ones, at home, in hospital and at our specialist unit at Turnchapel.
Mike Dukes, Commercial Director at St Luke’s, said: “We need to raise millions of pounds each year to provide our care for local families, so there is no room for complacency when it comes to seeking new ways to help fund what we do. As per St Luke’s strategy, we are constantly assessing the commercial environment around us, keeping an eye on developments that could impact our income as well as scanning the horizon for ways to diversify our income streams so we can channel profits into our hospice care. b.kinda is a great example of how we are thinking outside the box.”
The coffee shop project follows on from our b.kinda mystery online clothing box enterprise established earlier this year. Style-conscious women who sign up via the website at www.bkinda.co.uk receive four items of hand-picked, pre-loved womenswear – beautifully presented in an eco-friendly package and delivered by post for just £15.
The b.kinda coffee shop, off The Ridgeway, will also have its heart and eco credentials in the right place, focusing on environmentally friendly and sustainable quality – from the design and materials used to kit out the premises to sourcing the food and drink served.
It will cater for customers who are fussy about their coffee, its taste and its provenance and the operation will prioritise Fair Trade and local South West producers. Key suppliers will be the award-winning Owens who have been fresh roasting their organic and ethically sourced coffee beans at their custom-built premises near Ivybridge since 2010.
Recognising that excellent service is incredibly important in this competitive sector, the b.kinda coffee shop will be run by professional paid staff to ensure standards are consistently high. It’s currently recruiting an experienced manager and later will take on skilled and trainee baristas to deliver coffee brilliantly and serve up a menu of bespoke locally pre-prepared tasty eats, including cakes, bakes and savouries.
Mike Dukes acknowledges that breaking into this sector is a challenge and, inevitably, comes with some risk, but he is confident that there is a gap in the market to be filled by aiming higher than the current offer from larger coffee shop chains.
He said: “Even though money is tight for many people, all our research shows that coffee is now part of our culture in the UK and people have high expectations. While they may cut back on meals out, a really good cup of coffee is a small treat they are willing to pay for, and that’s what we’ll be providing, along with comfortable and classy surroundings. The premises we’ve chosen will also be a great hub for the local community.
“Our commitment to being eco-conscious is genuine and we are walking our talk in terms of using environmentally sustainable and recycled materials, even though that has meant spending more on our refit to a spec by great local designers.
“This first b.kinda coffee shop is an extremely exciting step in our quest to find new and sustainable ways of bringing in additional income to support St Luke’s services.”