The hidden Crewe café serving 'fresh home-made' meals for an 'important cause'

By Ryan Parker

27th Aug 2023 | Local News

Café on the Corner, just off the courtyard of St. Paul's Centre, Hightown, first launched in 2021 following the end of COVID-19 lockdowns (Ryan Parker).
Café on the Corner, just off the courtyard of St. Paul's Centre, Hightown, first launched in 2021 following the end of COVID-19 lockdowns (Ryan Parker).

A hidden Crewe café serving "fresh home-made meals" is helping to tackle food poverty in the local area, using money raised to fund its own food bank.

Café on the Corner, just off the courtyard of St. Paul's Centre, Hightown, first launched in 2021 following the end of COVID-19 lockdowns.

The eatery, which offers indoor and al fresco dining, serves fresh salad and vegetables grown at an allotment in Crewe.

Café on the Corner offers indoor and al fresco dining, serving fresh salad and vegetables grown at an allotment in Crewe (Ryan Parker).

"Everything we serve offers excellent value for money. It would be hard for you to buy all the ingredients and make it yourself at home for cheaper, " said café supervisor, Claire Goodall.

Café on the Corner serves an extensive freshly-made menu, including an all day breakfast, oven baked potatoes, hot sandwiches, toasties, paninis and a full salad bar.

With all money raised going straight into St. Paul's Food Bank, the café also runs a veterans breakfast club every Wednesday, as well as a monthly Sunday roast for the elderly.

Mrs Goodall told Nub News: "We stand out from other cafés as everything served here is home-made. The vegetables come from our own local allotment. 

"I started here 12 months ago and fell in love with the idea. All money raised goes to an important cause.

Supervisor of Café on the Corner, Claire Goodall (left), loves how all money made goes towards St. Paul's Food Bank (Ryan Parker).

"We get some really lovely regulars in, some of them come in on their own and have a chat with us.

"On a Wednesday morning every other week, we run a veterans breakfast club.

"Once they come in with people the first time, they feel confident enough to come whenever they like, and we love to have them here.

"I have lived in Crewe since I was 19 and Café on the Corner is such a good place. It has a really special feel to it."

This café is increasingly important as, in line with other food banks across the country, the last six months have seen donations to St. Paul's Food Bank fall by 60 per cent, with demand up by 25 per cent.

Across the last six months, donations to St. Paul's Food Bank have fallen by 60 per cent, with demand up by 25 per cent (Ryan Parker).

Every Friday, St. Paul's Centre runs a furniture sale between 9:30am and 12:30pm, typically attracting over 200 people.

This is one of the ways the Crewe charity makes money, as well as an eBay store selling donations, with more projects planned this year.

CEO, Richard Holmes, 67, told Nub News "I grew up in Yorkshire and have lived in Crewe for a long time. I consider myself a Crewe man and love the town.

"I am proud to say St. Paul's Centre is a great charity, and there is plenty more work to do here.

"Our core values are opportunity, confidence, dignity and hope. We try to reflect this in everything we do.

CEO of St. Paul's Centre, Richard Holmes, says there is plenty more work to do with the charity (Ryan Parker).

"St. Paul's Centre is not a just a come-to charity, offering a furniture recycling scheme, footwear scheme (Sal's Shoes), cycle workshop and 'Futures', a project for adults with additional needs. It is now a go-from centre as well.

"We have recently started a hospital discharge scheme, 'Extra Miles', which operates from Leighton and Macclesfield. 

"When we collect local patients, they are also offered food from Café on the Corner, and we help them settle back in for the first seven days.

"Other recent developments include our monthly Sunday roast dinner for the elderly.

"Every Tuesday evening, we offer local families free boxes of chilled food which they collect on their way home from school.

Every Friday, St. Paul's Centre runs a furniture sale between 9:30am and 12:30pm, typically attracting over 200 people (Ryan Parker).

"In this way, we aim to help with their food and energy costs during term time. So far, we have given out over 1000 meals and the response has been terrific."

Café on the Corner is located just a short walk away from Asda Car Park, with one disabled car parking space provided on site. 

Aiming to remain affordable for all, it offers daily specials for £5.20, including pie and mash, sausage and mash, quiche, chilli and curry. 

Representative of St. Paul's Centre, Neil Barratt, added: "With an allotment just one mile away and our commitment to the local community, we are operating something really special here.

"This cafe doesn't bring a profit to anyone that works here, it just goes back into the food bank.

St. Paul's Centre offers a free footwear scheme (Sal's Shoes), for those in need (Ryan Parker).

"When people find out where we are located, they keep coming back. Business is gradually increasing but we could do with a bit more trade.

"We are now providing catering platters to local groups and businesses for their lunchtime meetings and get togethers.

"They represent tremendous value and of course support the charity further.

"We are always busy on Fridays, the day of our big furniture sale. We would like it to be like this every day.

Café on the Corner is open from 8am until 2pm every weekday (Monday to Friday) (Ryan Parker).

"If you have never tried us before, I encourage you to bring family and friends. You will not be disappointed."

Café on the Corner is open from 8am until 2pm every weekday (Monday to Friday).

READ MORE: The Crewe pub serving 'delicious and well-priced' Sunday dinners.

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