Aaah, maternity leave, you lovely thing! I am absolutely loving all this extra freedom and have been making the most of it by catching up with as many friends as possible, making it my mission to scour Brighton for the very best hidden gem cafes for those all important coffee mornings to come! I expect I’ll be having more than a few ‘Mother’s mornings‘ over the next year so I call this essential practice for getting into the spirit of being a proper Mum 😉 Last week, I met up with fellow blogger/Youtuber/general freelance smartypants, Aine, for a catch up over a spot of lunch, to chat all things Youtube, freelancing and (sorry Aine) babies and childbirth. We decided to meet at a lovely little cafe, just off the Old Steine called Team Domenica. The team had emailed me a few months ago, but with work commitments I just couldn’t get down there during the week, so I was so excited to finally visit and see what all the fuss is about!
Team Domenica is not your ordinary cafe, it is actually a social enterprise and training hub that are absolutely dazzling us all with their good work at the moment. Team Domenica is a training cafe, open to the public, that aims to work with young adults with learning disabilities to help them find and retain employment. The café is staffed by candidates who are taught catering skills, front of house and general work skills, to assist preparation for work as well as sense of direction, purpose and belonging, in their local community.
The inside of the cafe was a total surprise, I’m not sure what I was expecting but it probably wasn’t brightly coloured flamingo murals! The inside is absolutely beautiful! It was a really cold winter day, so the bright, colourful interior felt like a tropical paradise in comparison.
We were greeted by the amazingly friendly staff, who immediately rallied around us, ensuring our ever whim was catered for and whilst our coffees were brewed we chatted and got to know a few of the candidates.
Team Domenica offer a lovely selection of Small Batch coffees, cakes, pastries and freshly made sandwiches. Something I really loved is that prices are kept quite low, meaning our lunch cost quite a bit less than I’ve made in the chain coffee shops, but was so deliciously fresh. All profits from the cafe go straight back into the project, allowing them to continue with their work.
We sat and chatted by the window, enjoying our sandwiches and a spot of people watching. The cafe is a perfect location for a catch up with friends, a quiet area to work or read or for Mum’s with buggies as the inside is quite spacious too.
Team Domenica are doing fantastic work and it was an absolute pleasure to pop down and give them some support. The team are honestly the friendliest, most passionate people and the program is just growing from strength to strength. I know next time I’m in Brighton, I’d much rather visit a project like this, than your standard chain coffee house, so if you are nearby too – give it a go! And don’t forget, if you are waiting for a bus at the Old Steine and have 5 minutes to spare, you can pop in for a take-away coffee too.
You can find Team Domenica tucked just off the Old Steine (where the bus stops are!) – they are open daily from 9am-4pm during the week, but closed at the weekends. Read what Aine had to say about the project here too.