A place where I can have a future
"Too many people order filter coffee rather than cappuccino," explained Swarm apprentice Simon Moss as he made me a cappuccino. "We have weekly target earnings here," he added, "and upgrading people's coffee order is just one way we can grow sales.'
Still only 18, Simon has already completed a level one catering apprenticeship and aspires to run a restaurant one day. He only recently joined the team at social enterprise Revelation Cafe and is ambitious. The cafe is situated in one on Norwich's oldest mediaeval churches works alongside the adjacent Christian bookshop.
The cafe recently rebranded to widen its appeal. "Many people find the cafe an oasis of calm in a bustling city, and it's popular with visitors to the city," explained Centre Manager Steve Foyster. "Simon is keen to grow our business and already making his mark, "he added.
Without being asked, Simon has prepared a 14 month plan. It details the changes he'd like to introduce to the cafe. "I want to make the place more popular, more profitable and a place where I can have a future," he explained. It's clear that Simon sees a future working here.
Reassuringly, Steve has approved Simon's plan. By setting out a series of improvements to be tried, tested and if they work, adopted, Simon is taking the long established team here with him. Although I suspect his winning smile also helps!
I asked Simon how he was finding Swarm; after all, that was the purpose of my visit. It was clear that assessor Jimmy had already made his mark, with both Simon and Steve speaking highly of him. It was also clear that the apprenticeship was delivering much more than simply knowledge and skill. It was strengthening everyone's resolve to make Revelation a place to return to time and time again, and not just for the cappuccino!
By Robert Ashton