Trinity Methodist Church, Oadby opens £400K cafe
A church is aiming to get back to the heart of the community by opening a £400,000 cafe.
Zak's Cafe opened at Trinity Methodist Church, in Harborough Road, Oadby, on Monday.
It is hoped it will generate cash for the church and charities in the town.
Cafe director John Aldridge said: "The main aim was to open the church to the community of Oadby by having a community cafe open six days a week.
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"We felt before we were behind a hedge and a fence and needed to open a community space and area up so that people have a warm, attractive and beautifully-decorated cafe to come to.
"The idea is that it's very open to all – not just members of the church – and to put the church back in the centre of the community."
The cafe, which serves drinks, sandwiches and light meals, cost more than £400,000 to build.
The cash was raised through charitable grants and by church members who donated money or held fund-raising events.
The site used to be a mish-mash of community buildings which had been added to the church over the years.
Some of these were revamped while others were demolished and rebuilt as part of the creation of the cafe.
It will be presided over by a board of directors and run by professional paid staff.
John said: "It is a commercial venture and we hope to make a profit and also open access to all the services of the church.
"We've deliberately given it a name that on the face of it isn't a churchy name – we didn't want it to be ecclesiastical or churchy and we wanted it to be easy to remember.
"We are hoping that it is going to be profitable and contribute to the wider work within the church and support other charities in Oadby.
"We haven't yet got figures that we want to hit, but we are there as a proper limited company to make a profit, and to use that profit for good in the church and in the community."
Zak's will be officially opened by Tigers players tomorrow at 4pm. Members of the public are welcome.
Usual opening hours for the public will be Monday to Saturday, 9.30am to 4.30pm. On Sundays, the cafe will be used by worshippers after church services.