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Boy what a journey the past year and a half has been! When we initially had the idea to create a café and coffee roasters, I hate to say it but I don’t think we quite fully knew what we were getting ourselves into. If someone had given us a full picture of all that we needed to do to turn our dream to reality at an earlier stage, perhaps we might have thought twice before proceeding. However, I think I speak for us all when I say that we are very grateful that our rose-tinted outlook won over our caution and made us take the plunge.

In the words of Dr Seuss, “If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good”. There have been some downs, like when it felt like we’d never get the ventilation of our roaster up and running. I can truly say though that it has mostly been ups and truly heaps of fun. One of the best feelings I’ve ever had was when we opened our doors in December 2016.

As the saying goes, “No person ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and they are not the same person.” In the six months that we’ve been open, so many things have changed. The initial Catalyst concept is not the Catalyst we have now and that is a good thing.

So many people have asked us why we named ourselves Catalyst. The definition of the word is, “a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change”. I think it perfectly describes us and our aspirations.

For all the changes that we’ve made, we’ve sought to stay true to our mission to spark great experiences and build lasting relationships. This will never change.

To stay true to this mission necessarily means we have to create great products that people will enjoy and a great atmosphere that people will always want to come back to. However, it has to be more than that. It also means that we have to accept our role as part of the community and do all we can to contribute positively to it.

It is for this reason that we decided to see what we could do to help when the tragic London bridge incident occurred. With your help, we were able to raise £1786.70 which has now been disbursed to the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust (LAS) and the Metropolitan & City Police Orphans Fund. Sadly, we’ve seen a number of tragedies follow the London bridge incident. The past few months have been tough for London, and the UK generally. While we cannot solve the world’s problems, we believe we can, as Catalyst, do our own little bit to help, one positive step at a time. One thing that really shone through during this difficult period is how many people share this outlook. Abdi, a representative of the LAS stopped over at Catalyst and shared with us all the great things that other Londoners did to show their support and empathy.

On a final note, I must thank all our guests who have given us both positive and fair, negative reviews as they have either encouraged us to keep going in the right direction or have helped to steer us away from heading the wrong way and helped us to improve. 

 See you all at Catalyst!

 Sewhenu 

2 comments

Jon

My office has moved away from just round the corner and I haven’t yet found anyone to match the quality of your coffee! Expand to Aldgate East soon!

Philippa

This is good- like the doctor Seuss reference! ( not sure about the Buddhist one!)
What is the ongoing purpose of it?
You write well!

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