Doing my bit for the Big Society and getting a bigger waistband.
When you are in Birmingham or more specifically Digbeth, there is only one place to eat, Eastside Cafe on Meriden St. The Award Winning cafe has the finest toast known to man, toast that would make the coldest steel hearted navvy weep, granary bread, thick cut with wait for it, butter, yes BUTTER.
Eastside is famed for looking after their customers, even putting signs up on their A board giving vital information to their busy clientele.
Anyways, it seems that like a lot of businesses Eastside Cafe are falling on hard times, one of the bigger offices where a lot a trade used to come from has closed, the local police station is being run down slowly, and not being on a street that gets a lot of foot fall there isn’t a lot to replace these former customers. Local historian Richard Trengrouse heard about the possible demise of Eastside and sent an E-mail out to his contact list say the cafe was struggling and he was going to have a least one breakfast a week there and urging others to do the same.
Nicky Getgood, doyen of Digbeth, picked up on this and posted on digbeth.org about the newly founded Breakfast Club to get more people interested and now sends out reminders on Twitter.
Because of the tweet from Nicky I called in on Wednesday morning and had breakfast, nothing particularly different for me, other than I ate in, normally I would get my breakfast, a cup of tea and take it to the office and eat there. Yesterday, because I knew other people were going to be there I ate in, 7 other people all had the same idea, some knew each other some didn’t, no matter we all sat around a table and had breakfast together and had conversations.
Not all of us would have gone to Eastside during the week, so Eastside are gaining a few customers to fill the void left by the office workers, these few extra customers may just be enough to keep them afloat.
The other side of the coin is the Breakfast Club members are gaining something from this, they are able to talk to people who they may not normally see so often, offline conversations in a world of tweets & blogs.
While we were there, the local Residents Association made arrangements to hold their meetings in Eastside starting next month. That is 20 people some of whom would probably not normally go to Eastside, going there for a meeting. Even if they only buy a tea or a coffee each it is something extra that helps a local business.
This is a perfect Big Society scenario, members of the local community (& 1 visitor) doing something to help their community and make it better.
Seriously there should be more things like this, maybe even a Breakfast Club Social Media Surgery @Getgood?
Remember the first rule of Breakfast Club is – Tell everyone about Breakfast Club.
Posted from Birmingham, England, United Kingdom.