From a pop-up to permenant cafe & community serving space

Started in the summer of 2015

Still going strong 8 years on 

Our Story

Joy Cafe started as a pop-up back in the summer of 2015 with two trestle tables, instant coffee, trays of cupcakes, free squash and a whole load of free activities for local kids! Skipping contests, face-painting, hula-hooping and a lot of laughter became common occurances in the park. Joy Cafe started small but with such beautiful vibrancy that small and simple didn't matter. The dream of bringing people together for fun, food and friendship had begun and didn't go unnoticed. 

In 2016, Joy Cafe got invited to share use of the 'Top Spot' youth centre in the corner of the park. Volunteers gave it a fresh lick of paint and transformed the building into a bright, welcoming space. For a year or so, Joy Cafe operated as a pop-up in the park with use of this lush but not entirely fit-for-purpose inside space. 

The Youth Services then got a new home down the road and Joy Cafe got a lease! After epic fund raising efforts and incredible investments of time and resources from legendary locals, Joy Cafe opened in February 2018 as a permenant community cafe! From there Joy Cafe flourished. Craft activities, eco-workshops, clothes-swaps, free community meals, kids birthday parties, bike tagging and repairs, chess club, cooking workshops, outdoor dance classes and much more became part of Joy Cafe's community rhythms. The vision of being a lush little cafe with a big heart for building life-giving community was now reality! 

In 2022, Joy Cafe moved 20ish meters to the inviting majority-glass building in the centre of the park. This is where we are now! We love continuing to bring joy and build community from here.

Hosting Dorset’s largest directory of food and drink businesses, Dorset Foodie Feed is here to champion the local food and drink scene in Dorset and help connect local businesses to local people.

This is your guide for life: a resource that combines everything we know about what people need in order to thrive, with all of the places, projects and initiatives that exist to meet those needs.