A Christmas Coffee With Helen Auden, Events Co-ordinator at The LifeCentre
Who makes the best coffee in your office?
I’m more of a tea drinker but Helen our café manager makes the best coffee – latte with a shot of caramel syrup is my favourite! Our café is open 10am – 2pm every weekday with a range of homemade cakes and yummy toasties.
What do you think is the most important thing to remember for small business owners?
For us it’s the people. We want everyone to feel welcome and that their time here has been a positive one – whether it was for a coffee with friends, having a training day or to hold their annual conference here.
What was your inspiration for starting your business?
The church, having met here in Sale since 1872, had outgrown the old building and the congregation was so large that it needed two services each Sunday. Something had to happen to make space for its’ other activities too, such as the toddler group, youth group and activities for the older folks. The church leaders’ vision was for a brand-new building not only to continue these activities, but also to link with the community through hiring out rooms during the week and the income from this goes towards the very large mortgage too!
Like cake makes the perfect extra to coffee, what extras does your business offer that sets you apart from your competitors?
We are unique in our market as we are not controlled by a corporate business, but host events with a small team where people using our building for their events can get to know us and have that personal touch. The two things that our clients often say makes us stand out is what a lovely, vibrant and clean building we have and how warm and friendly the staff are.
What are your business goals for the next 3-5 years?
We’ve been open less than 5 years, so the business is still relatively young, however our plan is to keep all our existing relationships and build new ones, so that we are the immediate go-to location for anyone wanting a space for a meeting, training course or conference in the area. The long-term plan is that the conference income pays all the building running costs and also supports all the great community activities that the church does, such as putting on a free Christmas lunch for over 100 local senior citizens as we are doing this December.