Fika coffee shop to launch at Liverpool Watersports Centre to support disadvantaged young people
2 years ago
New cafe will support disadvantaged young people in partnership with Local Solutions to help them onto career ladder
A man who turned his life around after a difficult start has opened up a wonderful new social cafe at the Liverpool Watersports Centre.
Tony Grice, who runs the extremely popular Fika coffee shop in Wavertree, partnered with major Merseyside charity Local Solutions – who own the building – to open a second Fika cafe on the waterfront.
The 42-year-old, who grew up in Toxteth and says he: “knows what it’s like to be hungry”, is supporting the charity in return by training some of the disadvantaged young people Local Solutions look after through their hostel service, giving them lunch and getting the ready for employment as baristas and catering workers at the cafe.
He said: “I know what it’s like to have no food in the house, being in trouble with the police at a young age and finding life chances very difficult.
“That is why I want to give these young people, who’ve similarly had a tough start in life, a chance to get into work and build a CV for their future.
“I loved how passionate Local Solutions were about what they do and all the help they give to people so it was massive for me to go into partnership with them and support them too in what is an unbelievable location!”
Tony, who worked at Caeser’s Palace restaurant in Liverpool in the 90s, explained that he has always operated with a social conscience due to understanding what life is like for those struggling.
The Wavertree resident has carried out an unbelievable amount of work for those less fortunate in the community like handing out more than 3,000 food parcels during the Covid-19 lockdowns and running the not-for-profit Fika Festival for 1,000 people as he gets set to launch a free tea and toast morning for elderly people at his main cafe in hope “it gives them a lifeline”.
Local Solutions chief executive Tom Harrison said:
“We have gone into partnership with Fika social cafe and they are providing our food, hot drinks and a cafe atmosphere.
“It’s a lovely partnership and there is a lot of care going in there. Fika is linking in with our mentoring, young persons support and accommodation teams to offer employment. It will enable young people to work and experience that next sort of possibility.
“We’re trying to empower some of our young people to feel connected to their city and the opportunity in that city.”
Fika is a Swedish-inspired coffee shop which draws inspiration from Scandinavian culture in which people take fika each day, which basically means to take time out in order to have coffee and a cake while chatting to someone about life in general, improving social interaction and combating loneliness people may face.
Tony said the idea came after he spent time in Sweden and realised it would work beautifully in Liverpool.