Category Archives: NCCN Events

What is the aim of the Nottingham Community Café Network??

The aim of NCCN is to help existing community cafes to thrive, and to support people who are in the process of setting up a new cafe. A broader aim is to promote the idea and practical reality of Third Places (not home, not work, but where community happens).

There used to be a pub on every corner, and due to tax on the pint and other factors these places don’t exist anymore, but our human need for socialising and places of conversation still is as strong as ever. I ran a community cafe from a community centre for 4 years and the model was purely based on volunteers – no paid staff at all, and no real funding (£500 to start up). From this experience I wanted to spread this idea, but am very aware that there is a whole spectrum of organisations and projects that fullfill the brief of Third Place:- from a sole trader business to charity project, to community or church group. But all these cafes are operating beyond the profit motive, and so I felt that networking between them would be easy as they are not really in competition with each other (as Costa and Starbucks are!).

The last two netwoking meetings have proved this, as so much info and help has been exchanged etc. Look out for the notes from the meeting soon, and your invite to the next (at Sumac Centre I think) where we are going to concentrate on planning a celebration event for all our volunteers!

David Jones
07738 729828

Introducing the Pocket Guide to Nottingham Community Cafes

Please see attached at these links below the new pocket guide to community cafes featuring 18 of Nottingham’s (and surrounding area) finest.

Front Back  of leaflet

Inside map

This is a tri-fold design and please feel free to print and display, or hand out.  We are seeking a bit of funding to print a few thousand copies to spread the word around Nottingham, so fingers crossed we get that soon!

If you would like your cafe on the next version please get in touch with the details…

Thanks to William Forrest for doing the design

Next Network Meeting – Thursday, 16 May, 4-6pm, Mtg Room 2 (downstairs), Broadway Cinema

Please come along if you can to the next network meeting on 16 May 4-6pm at Meeting Room 2 at the Broadway Cinema.

There be a bit of a buffet as per last time, and a good chance to network.

The notes from the last meeting are here notes.

Please RVSP to,



Invite to networking meeting Fri 22 Feb 12-1.30pm at Broadway Cinema Mezz lounge

You are invited to join other community cafe people at a FREE event on Fri 22 Feb 12-1.30pm at Broadway Cinema Mezz lounge for networking, buffet, chat, and maybe hatching a plan or two.

On the agenda:


What do we love about community cafes? what concerns us?

What visions and ideas do we have? How could we work together?


Please rsvp to

Green Festival and Sneinton Festival Coming up

The Nottingham Local food partnership including Ecoworks (and their new electric, vehicular stall), Stonebridge City Farm, AMC Gardens and others are going to be at the Green Festival again this year on Sunday 10th, 11-4pm.

The weather looks ok too, so hopefully see you there!


So here it is guys, this year’s SNEINTON FESTIVAL coming very soon (28th June-8th July). The main festival event is on July 7th 2012.  It starts with a Parade through the streets of Sneinton (with the ‘Olympic Ideals’ theme, promoting positive health, education, citizenship, community & spirituality) the on to Tricketts park for an event jam packed full of excellent activities, arts & crafts, stalls and food to satisfy all tastes. Plus with two music areas -the main stage and the SEND world vibes acoustic tent – we welcome many amazingly talented local musicians, performers and artsist to entertain and wow you all.

For more information check out the full event details on the programme attached or at these links – Front page,  Main programme page
Plus if you want to find out more about a particular event, volunteer or get involved in any way please contact us at
See you all for some wonderful festival fun, games, dancing and much more,

The Sneinton Festival Team

You are invited to the pub!

Please see below a letter written to the Local food Partnership (NLFP) members by Nic from Ecoworks – she wanted me to invite all you community cafes (and cafe supporters) along too, to see how we can get the Sneinton Market going especially in relation to street food……
Dear All,
At the last market we decided that a good old fashioned pint in the pub was called for to bring everyone investing in NLFP / Urban Food / Sneinton Market, to meet and have a relaxed discussion about where we take things next. We have seen it through the wilderness, ahem winter…and now, the rewards of warmer climates approach.
We no longer have the Plunkett Fund to support meeting time, but there is ample opportunity to apply for bigger pots to cover a programme of ‘event/feast/workshops’ and marketing activity with Awards For All perhaps? As well as taping into some other social/economic fund which would support enterprise, resource sharing/development.
Wendy has already begun applying for certain grants for stalls and exhibitions on Sneinton Market, and I have requested this info be shared with you all so we can identify gaps and other strengths/ambitions of local food etc..- live cooking of cultural street food is one
As you know I am off on maternity leave mid july so I’ll be pushed to co-ordinate all of the above, so instead, a pint in the pub should be the first steps to see who and what can be shared into bite size peices, and I’m happy to share application/bid writing.
Pub-wise: The Lord Nelson in Sneinton has been suggested as it has a back room but it will only hold so many, any other near town locations with room and a decent pint? (Paul / Nicky / Mary – appreciate it is a long way to come for a pint, so feel free to email ideas/suggestions if you cannot make it, especially since you all have lots of market experience)
I have attached a doodle link: please pass on the choice of dates to those not on the internet or to anyone you think should be involved or I have missed).
Cheers all, and may a pint or two lead to creative partnerships

News Round up

Apologies for much missed news and no contact for a while.  I have become a father recently and so have been out of action for a while now!  Personally though it gives me renewed inspiration to help develop the community cafe scene in Nottingham, since I think children get so much out of being part of rich communities that Third Place‘s  (including commmunity cafes) are essential parts of.  “It takes a village to raise a child” they say and every happy village has its pub or cafe or tea house where people congregate and talk and hang out…

Anyway on with the news:-


Tomorrow is the Nottingham Local food Partnership’s (find us on facebook and twitter) fourth monthly Market.  We have a great range of stalls from Ecoworks, AMC gardens, Stonebridge City Farm, Veggies, Secret Kitchen and many more (including a farm shop selling local, wild game meats  like venison and partridge).  It’s from 10-3pm so come along and hangout, also have a look round the new Victoria Leisure centre.  There is a cafe unit that opens onto the square – it is still up for tender so, if interested, just contact the council and put your bid in…hopefully whoever gets it will create a community cafe and not just a business.


Alain Job from Melting pot at the Sycamore Centre, St Anns has opened a new venture in Victoria Centre Market upstairs in the fish and meats section.  He is selling delicious African Cuisine in a banana skin cone (the nkono concept!) Monday to Saturday 11-4pm.


Marsha Smith from Secret Kitchen held a social event last week Friday 5-9pm – it was great relaxed, unique community event and a first for Sneinton.  You could BYO wine and beer, bring the kids, the food was delicious and cheap and there was free musical entertainment. It was the the definitive ‘Third Place’ night and we could do with alot more nights like this around (especially for us with young children who can’t get to pub as much as they’d like)

Social night flyer_secret kitchen_bw


Cafe bingo is still coming but there has been a delay due to funding issues….

Also am looking for further ideas and support for this project going forward – hopefully we can get an action group together soon.

Book a Stall at the January Local Food Market


Where:Sneinton Market, Nottingham          Date: Saturday 28th January 2012

Time: Set up before 9:30am                        Market Opens: 10am

Market Closes: 4pm

Fee per stall: £18 Half stall: £10

DEADLINE: 12 noon on Friday 20th January 2012

Please complete the details below. Please note, all stall holders are required to produce the following documentation, a copy of which should be faxed or emailed along with this application form to fax to: 01159622200

  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Food Hygiene Certification (for those responsible for preparing or the handling of cooked food)
  • Risk Assessment for Trading Activity

Thank you. We will provide confirmation of all stall holders by 3pm on  Friday 20th January

Link here to the above info in word document form

Feast on the Farm [fwd]

Come and say hello to us at our stall at Sneinton Market on Saturday
10th December between 10am and 6pm, lots going on all day and a great
opportunity to get your Christmas shopping done.

And on Sunday 10th December we would love it if you could join us for
a celebration of the Orchard project at the city farm between 4pm and
8pm. There will be a festive bonfire, food from Ecoworks in the cafe
and apple recipe sharing and tasting. Bring along your own apple
recipes to taste and share!

Contact me if you would like to help in any way or want any more info.
Best wishes

Green Street@Stonebridge City Farm:

Healthy living, personal growth and spiritual well-being through
pesticide-free, locally produced food…

Meeting next week

Hello Nottingham Community Cafe

We want to invite you to a meeting next week in the evening at the Stonebridge City Farm 6pm – 7.30pm EITHER WEDNESDAY OR THURSDAY 16th or 17th .  Please let me know which, if either, date is best for you….

The Meeting is about the 10th Dec Sneinton Market Relaunch.  There is potential for us to book stalls for this event.  It is slightly complicated which is why I am hoping all who are interested should meet first.

Some advantages to you for being part of this:

This should be a money earner:-

1. It is free to book a stall
2. The event should attract thousands of people.  This is because it is being advertised front page in the Arrow that goes to every home.  Also last year a much smaller Christmas market attracted 2000 people.  There is a risk however that the weather is bitter cold which will of course put people off.
3. This is a great chance to advertise to people through flyers and banners.  It may be that we can do one flyer for all the cafes if we have time to agree on the details. This should lead to more business for all of us.

It is a good chance to develop a taste (or more of a taste) for outdoor catering, and also network amongst some of the local food providers and other interesting people that will be attracted to this arts and market event.

There are only a limited number of slots but it is a long day so I imagine not everyone wanting to be there all day.  There should be a steady stream of people throughout the day from 10am-7pm.  So if we divide this into 3 hour slots let us know how many you want to do also how much space you need – 5foot or 10foot?

These are the sort of details we can discuss with Wendy who is managing the market – I am grateful that she will be there at this meeting to answer questions and come up with a plan together.

Look forward to seeing you next week, if you can’t make it but would like to join in please rest assured we can sort it out over the phone so you shouldn’t miss out!!

Dave Jones

Also please bring a dish each so that together we can all have a bit to eat.

Can Sneinton Market become the Marakesh of the North?


News round up

Viking weekend this weekend at the Stonebridge City Farm

FREE entry 10-4pm

Also St Ann’s Allotments Heritage Open Day this Sunday, 11 am to 4pm


Alain-Andre Job is now not only a famous BBQ man and community organiser but is now about to run his own community cafe.  It is at the Sycamore Centre on Hungerhill road.  We wish him all the best with this project and hope to see you all there at the launch party next week, Thursday 15th Sept 3-8pm – more details are on the flyer linked here.

Another new community cafe is about to open in Sneinton…More news on this soon…


This network is part of the Nottingham Local Food Partnership which is supported by the Making Local Food Work national project – read their latest newsletter here.


The Communities for Health/ FIG Small Grants are still open to application, until 30th September. Please forward the link below to any of your contacts based in Nottingham City and who have an idea related to food and health. They can download guidance and the application form from it.

Joint Projects

Transformation of Sneinton Market

I was at a meeting last night with people involved in the arts side of the new Sneinton Market.  If you want to get involved in some way then email the curator Jennie Syson at for more details.   The artist commissioned for the work is Neville Gabie  who takes a collaborative approach and works closely with local artists.  The theme for this work is apples – which is very apt for the area!

The new square construction is on schedule and will be opened around the second week in December.  This should be a really big event in the city, widely advertised and promoted,  and I can envision thousands coming along.  Sneinton Market  is so famous in Nottingham because of its past glory days so people will be interested to see what’s new!  The opening weekend will involve an all day and evening celebration on the Saturday, and I have verbal agreement that the NCCN can organise a hot food court.

So please get thinking about this now – it’s quite a good potential payday because of the numbers expected, and a great chance for you and the community to be involved in this new public space!  If you think you want to join in with us then let me know and also let’s see what resources (e.g. outside catering equipment) we need and if we can share it around!


Just Change is an organisation that buys tea direct from growers in India and so cuts out the corporate middle man.  Us cafes and community centres consume a hell of a lot of tea so it’s right that we source ethically (we certainly can’t source locally).  The NCCNetwork could buy the tea in bulk and distribute onto our members (i.e. you) – the prices are reasonable: 800 bags for £16 – or just contact the supplier yourself through their website.


Community Cafe Bingo Anyone?

Or should it be called a Cafe Network Loyalty card, or something else?

Whatever the name, the basic premise is that a person visits any of the community cafes in Nottingham listed on the card and spends over £2.50 then they get a unique stamp on this bingo card.  Then then keep the card and visit  other cafes to get 6 stamps – at this point they can get a free meal from any of the cafes in the scheme (up to the value of £4.50).

If they then visit the remaining three cafes they get a full house and win a prize which I hope will be something like a cinema ticket from Broadway, or some other prizes gifted by local bushinesses, or at worst another free meal.

Initial design for the card is here.

Please get in touch will any comments of this idea.  I will contact the individual cafes directly to propose giving this scheme a test run soon…..

NCCN at the Green Festival 2011

A week on Sunday 22nd May you are invited to join us at the Green Festival at the Arboretum in Nottingham from  12-4pm.

We will have a tent or gazebo or possibly even a yurt set up in a cluster of stalls and stands from Ecoworks, Garden to Plate, Stonebridge and other Local Food Groups. I don’t know where we’ll be on site so come and find us!

If you want to come to a steering group meeting (discussing the future of this network) please come at 12pm-12.45pm or/and from 3pm-4pm (we are having two sessions). Between times we will be engaging the public, promoting Third Places around Nottingham, finding about more cafes from the general public, and doing fun activities such as drumming and free soup and bread.

Please arrange to get me some of your publicity material for me to give out/display, and please get in touch if you have any ideas in regard to this event.

Network First Event – Report

Thanks to the Crocus volunteers for delicious food and their help, as well as to Michael for his talk on the Crocus history.  Also thanks to Lubna for her gift of the samosas for the starter.

It was only a short event but we managed to cram in dinner, introductions and  a chat to all the other cafe projects there (incl Chillwell Eat Well, Rumbletums, Goshen Cafe, Stonebridge City Farm, Red Hot Cuisine, Art Organisation, Roots n Fruits, Veggies, Sumac Centre, Signpost to Polish Success, Talkingpoint and Cafe Sneinton.

The next step is to organise the next event and I am glad that some of the attendees agreed to help in this by joining a steering group that will meet after Easter.  There has been a suggestion that the next meeting should be at the Green Festival at the end of May. I love this idea (I could try to hire a yurt for it), because we could meet, as well as promote ourselves to the wider public as well as have a good time at the festival! Let me know what you think….

Network First Event

Dear Friend,

You are invited to join us at our first event to launch the Nottingham Community Cafe Network.
You will be joined by other people who run and promote open Community cafes and spaces all across Nottinghamshire.

Location: Crocus Cafe, 2 Church Square,
Lenton, Nottingham. NG7 1SL.

Date & Time: Wed 23rd March 6-8pm

RSVP: 19th March Contact Us

The event is free and includes dinner (veg) plus an opportunity to hear about this new Network, meet and find out about other people’s cafe projects, as well as feedback Your ideas for future network activities.

Crocus On Board

Last week I visited Crocus Cafe and met Emma who is the current chair of their organising committee. We had a good meeting and we agreed that the Crocus had alot to offer other cafes in terms of information-gathering visits. This is something they already do alot, and it just so happened that before meeting me, Emma hosted a group from Birmingham who wanted to set up a community cafe network.

It was agreed that Crocus would host the first NCCN networking event at the end of March and Emma kindly agreed to give a presentation on the history of the Crocus.  More detail about this event are to follow however we will be looking to get a date in late March in the evening when most interested parties are free.

Also I will be volunteering at as many cafes as possible in order that the network will be able to have as much volunteering know-how as possible – in these days of funding cuts, more volunteering may be the best way to sustainability for alot of existing cafes, and the best ethos to get a new project going.