Youth clubs take over Well Street cafe for business project

PUBLISHED: 10:46 04 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:44 04 September 2017

The project aimed to equip the youngsters with vital business skills for the future. Picture: Polly Hancock

The project aimed to equip the youngsters with vital business skills for the future. Picture: Polly Hancock


Youngsters took over a cafe in one of Hackney’s oldest trading streets last week as part of a project teaching them business skills.

Members of the Morningside and Gascoyne Youth Club take over the NuDawn Cafe in Well Street. Picture: Polly Hancock Members of the Morningside and Gascoyne Youth Club take over the NuDawn Cafe in Well Street. Picture: Polly Hancock

The budding entrepreneurs from the Gascoyne and Morningside estate youth clubs took charge at NuDawn cafe in Well Street after impressing owner Kevin Jones with their stall at the relaunched market, where they sell homemade bath bombs and candles.

But before they got were handed the reins they had to win him over with a presentation. That included a business plan outlining their budget, how they would make money, where they would source products and how they would promote their venture.

When the Gazette visited the cafe on Friday the youngsters were hard at work preparing orange juice and hot drinks.

“It’s essential we equip them with as many tools as possible,” said Kevin. “Lots of the new blood coming to the area are seeing opportunities, but unless we equip the local kids with some skills to see those opportunities too they will not be able to get employed.”

The project is also raising money for a residential weekend for the kids and bringing in much-needed funds for the youth clubs – Morningside has to pay £22,000 rent for the community centre.

Nicolette Nixon, who runs Morningside, told the Gazette the scheme was more like The Apprentice than you might imagine.

“The market stall is a proper little business,” she said. “They’ve sacked people because they weren’t pulling their weight.

”Ten per cent of their earnings go into a piggy bank and when it gets to £10 they can take it out and put it in the bank.

“We’ve got a waiting list for stalls now, we could have three or four.

Julieanne Jenkins said she was amazed at the transformation in her 11-year-old daughter Megan during the two-day takeover. She said: “She was up at 6.30am, I said to her ‘you don’t start until 10!’ It’s given her much more confidence and she’s started making her own bits and pieces.

“For Kevin to open his shop and let the kids do this is fantastic, and Nicolette is amazing with the kids.”

Youngster Yilin He, 12, took time out of her busy shift to chat. She said: “We’ve been trying to be entrepreneurs and present ourselves to the community by selling things. “We’ve learnt how to greet customers and how to work with other people. It’s been really good.”

MP Meg Hillier also stopped by for a cup of tea. She said it was good to see the kids learning life skills and praised the youth clubs and NuDawn for the project. “It’s great,” she said. “I’ve been to the market stalls a few times and this is a great initiative.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Stories

The O’s won at Brisbane Road on Tuesday and now have two more home fixtures coming up over the next week


Slaven Bilic’s men will host Premier League new boys Brighton & Hove Albion in a Friday night match.

Spurs have had a solid opening few weeks with victories achieved over Aston Villa, London Bees and Bristol City

To mark the centenary of the October Revolution, the Gazette looks back at a “way-out” church in De Beauvoir that hosted Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky for a crucial conference – and put the Bolsheviks on the road to power.


A prolific wheeler-dealer and his goons staged a scam auction in Dalston flogging his second-rate perfume under the guise of high-end cologne by the likes of Hugo Boss and Victoria Beckham.

Arsenal performed a classic European smash and grab with a late goal from Olivier Giroud to beat Red Star Belgrade 1-0 in the frenzied Rajko Mitic Stadium.

Yesterday, 17:23

Hackney has the highest number of bike thefts in London for the second year running – and the figure is going up.

Yesterday, 17:00

Chairman Doug Harper pleased to see their efforts recognised while Leyton Orient Trust also receive nomination for “Man v Fat” initiative

Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists