Coffeehouse for new mums, SEND parents and the whole community hailed a huge success

Sophia's dreams come true as new adventure begins <i>(Image: Sophia Robertson)</i>
Sophia's dreams come true as new adventure begins (Image: Sophia Robertson)

A mum of two from Darwen has officially opened the doors to her brand-new coffee house – and it has already been a huge success, combatting loneliness in the area.

Sophia Robertson, 29, officially opened her business, 1617 Coffeehouse, in Belgrave Square, Darwen, on January 13 and she said the mission behind her business has already been completed as people come together to combat loneliness.

The unique coffee shop has been welcomed to the community and it isn’t just any old cafe.

Sophia said it is a place for new mums with special coffee mornings, SEND parents, a place that allows pets and a place allowing people to completely switch off from the outside world.

Speaking about the success three weeks in, Sophia said: “Since opening it has been really good, we’ve had a really good response for the coffee house but especially for the Mummy and Baby mornings, they have really taken off.

“I did my first one last week and at the time I had 32 people message me and then because I realised how popular it was and how good it was, we have decided to host more.

Lancashire Telegraph: The décor inside 1617 Coffeehouse
Lancashire Telegraph: The décor inside 1617 Coffeehouse

The décor inside 1617 Coffeehouse (Image: Sophia Robertson)

“So, we have three sessions now on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesdays.

“It just looks like it is completely missing in the market, we have had an amazing response.

“And with regards to it obviously being a different kind of set up to your normal coffee shop with it being so intimate, I’ve had people coming in and talking to people that they don’t know and it’s been a very good, feel good vibe, so yes it has been going really well.

“It has absolutely been a success.”

Sophia said people are already benefitting from the coffee house with people telling her they are feeling less lonely.

She said: “I feel really good about the response, I’m glad that people are taking to it like they are and especially with it being as intimate as it is, there’s always a worry that people wouldn’t understand my approach.

Lancashire Telegraph: Treats available for dogs too!
Lancashire Telegraph: Treats available for dogs too!

Treats available for dogs too! (Image: Sophia Robertson)

“I just wanted everyone to not feel lonely; there is a lady who came in and she messaged me beforehand saying she suffers with anxiety, and she was worried to come in, I told her to come down for a chat and a coffee and by the end of her visit she said she was really glad she came out and spoke to people that she normally wouldn’t speak to.

“The coffee house is definitely already making a difference to people.”

The coffee house is welcoming everyone from across the community making a difference to people including new mums on maternity and older people.

Sophia said at only three weeks into the business being open she feels like she has already completed her mission which she set out when opening the coffee house.

She said: “I absolutely feel like I have completed my mission, where I wanted people to have someone to speak to.

“People come in and say I am really glad I came down; people are speaking to people they wouldn’t normally speak to; different ages and genders and it works perfectly.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Cookie cake on sale at the coffeehouse
Lancashire Telegraph: Cookie cake on sale at the coffeehouse

Cookie cake on sale at the coffeehouse (Image: Sophia Robertson)

Sophia is sticking with the Mummy and Baby classes for now, but she is hoping to implement SEND mornings too for parents with SEND children.

The coffee house is open 8am-2pm Monday to Saturday selling a variety of hot drinks, cakes, breakfast items and bagels from locally sourced businesses, including six local businesses for the cakes and breakfast pots from the Prep Chef.

Sophia is hoping more of the community will come together for a hot drink, a cake and a chat.