SK Eight, based in the smart Equity Housing Group building on Station Road, is a coffee shop with a real difference. Working in partnership with the Equity Foundation, it’s operated as a social enterprise. Put simply, this means that SK Eight is run in an ethical way for the benefit of the local community, aiming to create social value – and to be a real hub of the community.
TheSK Eight Social Charter outlines how this is achieved:
• Reinvestment of profits into local community groups and causes
• Serving only ethically-sourced coffee – in partnership with Grumpy Mule who claim ‘coffee with a conscience’
• Sourcing produce locally wherever possible – favourites include Bramhall Bakery and J. Pimlott butchers
• Paying the SK Eight team the National Living Wage, regardless of their age.
• Allowing local community groups to use the space at no cost
• Donating £100 EVERY MONTH to a local cause chosen by customers
• Working in partnership with community groups and local businesses. The team at SK Eight have fully embraced and contributed to Paint Cheadle Hulme Pink – for Prevent Breast Cancer – as well as organising some fantastic fundraising events, such as the recent fun day in aid of the MS Society. Other achievements in community engagement have included a weekly dementia café, a weekly IT skills course aimed at supporting older people, acting as a collection point for the Homeless Christmas Shoebox Appeal and raising funds for the Stockport branch of the Stroke Association.
Most of the team live very locally, which adds to this feeling of community. Supervisor Jayne is a Cheadle Hulme mum who’s well known to lots of us round here – in fact, Jane’s own dad was a regular customer which is how SK Eight found her! She, like many of us long-time Cheadle Hulme types, knows everyone and so is the ideal person to organise events and ask for raffle prizes, volunteers and donations! All the staff love Cheadle Hulme and love being a part of the village. SK Eight and the wider area are, they say ‘a lovely place to work’. They say Cheadle Hulme has a fantastic community feel, they enjoy using lots of the local businesses and love that everyone seems to know everyone.
SK Eight first opened its doors in December 2015 and has gone from strength-to-strength. Taking customer suggestions on board, regular special offers have been introduced and enjoyed, and the menu has been extended to include lots more fresh sandwiches, toasties, jacket potatoes and soups, all freshly made on the premises. And as for the cakes, well…
SK Eight have also organised and hosted lots of events and workshops – including a fabulous fun-filled dog show, at which I Love Bramhall’s very own diva dog, Darcy, won first prize in the Prettiest Bitch class! This was the perfect event for such a fabulously dog-friendly café.
There’s also plenty of room for the little ones – and a well-stocked play area – so busy mums (and dads) can enjoy a coffee and cake in relative peace. The SK Eight team have arranged several fun events in school holidays to keep the kids busy, as well as Mothers’ Day treat and lots of lovely pop-up shops to showcase some of our fantastic local businesses. SK Eight even hosted a Moxie Mingle networking event where we were able to really appreciate the space, including the conference room upstairs which has amazing potential! The space can be hired for breakfast meetings, parties, baby showers, craft groups, local meet-ups – the list is pretty much boundless…
One thing is sure. SK Eight will continue to evolve and grow, and will always be community based and community spirited. Let’s drink – Grumpy Mule Coffee with a Conscience – to that!