Like the rest of the hospitality industry nationally we’re really struggling for staff. You’ll recollect Charla has moved onto greater things; Marina is planning a month’s holiday early in August so we’re rather thin on the ground.
We’re using every avenue we can to find more of the right kind of staff – those capable of supervising the cafe – and as soon as we find someone we’ll reopen. Challenging times!
Of course if you know anyone that might be interested send them to us either call Ruth on 01260 277658 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re great friends with Churnet Radio, based in Biddulph they are the ‘Local Radio For The Staffordshire Moorlands and Cheshire Border’. They are a web based radio station, find them at churnetsound.co.uk. They have visited the Saw Mill and are planning to do a live programme from the cafe soon.
Masks and NHS App:
Freedom day 19th July: we decided as a board to carry on as we had been: asking people to sign in, sanitise their hands, wear masks until they sit down. As ever most people are happy with that but some aren’t, which is a pity. We can’t insist of course, we’re just trying our best.
The more people I talk to, the more convinced I am that the Covid pandemic has changed things probably forever. As some lockdown restrictions were lifted in April, we started thinking about how we would get ready for opening to customers on the 17th May, we felt we had to present a bright new cafe, as far as we could.
So, out with the pots of paint to refresh the cafe and a deep clean everywhere needless to say. We refurbished equipment because most of the ‘kit’ has been idle for nearly 15 months.
We have been making and delivering 70 meals a week thanks to Craig Kirk’s team, using the upstairs kitchen all through lockdown, but opening the cafe for visiting customers is quite different. We have redesigned the menu; made the garden look lovely (thanks Diana, Helen and Linda) with plants donated from Fol Hollow Nurseries (thanks Chris Dale). Scarlett Pearmain, our bear, is getting a repaint thanks to volunteer Abby. We have created a take-away menu because people have got used to staying at home. Our redecoration included taking down the lights from the ceiling (don’t worry they will go back up at Christmas), changing the ceiling teapot layout, new-to-us donated shelves have allowed new ornamentation. And we have tuned the piano!
A new staff team is led by Ruth Pointon, Charla has gone to pastures new, and some of our previous volunteers have new priorities. New volunteers have joined us for work experience; to bring us new skills and enthusiasm and to see if they fancy working with us for the longer term; they are all very welcome.
The 17th of May saw us open and so far more of you have come each week, enjoying the good weather in the garden, it is lovely to see everyone. Isn’t meeting people face to face a strange feeling? We are looking forward to being properly busy again in the coming weeks. We will plan Friday evening events again as soon as we can. Jazz and Blues should take place on August Bank Holiday weekend and we are planning to have bands on both evenings.
All in all we’re nearly all new, but hopefully you’ll agree it’s still just your favourite Aunties front room with lovely food as ever!
Big Heart Lunch Club would love more volunteers
Since June 2020, the Old Saw Mill Community Café in Back River Street have been cheffing up hearty meals for Congleton Town Council to deliver to people living in Congleton who for a variety of reasons may be struggling to cook a meal for themselves.
The scheme subsidised by Congleton Town Council has seen its numbers increase due to residents self-isolating through the COVID-19 pandemic. Pre-COVID members would normally attend the luncheon clubs operating from the United Reform Church and at St John’s Community Centre in Buglawton.
The team are seeking more volunteers to help with the growing demand for its home cooked food. Currently the council along with four volunteers deliver a main meal plus a desert to the homes of 80 local people every Friday.
Peter Aston, of the Old Saw Mill said: “We would like to expand our team of volunteers to 10 people, we have a good system in place whereby each volunteer delivers approximately 10 meals to their area each week. This way residents see the same face delivering their food and if welcomed the opportunity to spend a little time with them for a chat. It has become much more than just a delivery service. Many of our members look forward to the social interaction.”
Volunteers need to be DBS checked and capable of handling money when taking payment for meals. Full training will be given on a variety of issues. The meals need to be collected from the Old Saw Mill between 8.30am and 9.30am every Friday, insulated bags are provided for the safe storage of the meals whilst being delivered. People interested in joining this team should contact Peter Aston on 07971 805372 in the first instance.
It is not to late for Congleton residents who are eligible to register with the scheme. The meals consist of a meat or vegetarian option plus a dessert. They arrive chilled with a three day ‘shelf life’ ready to be heated up in the microwave or oven. The meals are usually offered at the subsidised cost of £4 per person. To find out more call Congleton Town Council on 01260 270350 ext. 1.
For more information please contact Jackie MacArthur at Congleton Town Council on 07535 26981
We are now able to deliver some of our cafe food as a takeaway option.
Please open the link below to see our range and contact details.
The Old Saw Mill Takeaway Menu
As of today 17th May, the cafe is open again, obviously with some restrictions around spacing etc.
The menu is below.
Menu v6 (4)
Despite the weather we are currently having, we hope you can visit us soon
The Old Saw Mill is hiring! We need a full-time Team Leader for our much loved Community Cafe, apply email@example.com
The cafe is obviously shut but we are making meals for delivery via Congleton Town Council and delivering on a Friday. It is for those who are isolated and if they qualify, it costs £4. For those that do not meet the CTC qualification, we can still provide a meal at £6, also delivered on a Friday.
The forthcoming meals are as follows:-
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Although the café will be opening again on 2nd December, we are still busy with the Big Heart Lunch Club which is delivering about 45 meals at £6 per meal every Friday to those that are isolating due to COVID or just fancy a day off from cooking. It is run in conjunction with Congleton Town Council who contribute £2 per head for those who are entitled to a discount. The remaining £4 is collected every 5 weeks making it £20.
We have the capacity to produce many more meals so please contact 01260 270350 to join in!
A main meal and a pudding, veggie option available, will be delivered to your door Friday morning chilled ready to microwave or oven heat at a time to suit you!