There's a natural concern when a business changes hands. And a deepening concern when virtually all the previous staff disappear. But sometimes, a change is a breath of fresh air and a new bright and different beginning. And so it is with "Kim's Seaside Shack"
- or should I say The Cornerstone Cafe
Prior to Kim taking over the Cafe, the Cornerstone was run by a local church; a friendly place to pop in for a cup of tea and a sandwich at lunchtime, with all welcomed irrespective of creed. And yet ... the bible quotes and biblical pictures meant that some felt uncomfortable there, and I had to be very careful which customers I took there at lunchtime; even some of our Melksham friends who had a Christian style upbringing found it a little too strong.
But I have to hand it to Kim ... she's got it right. In a fiercely competitive market in Melksham, her cafe is a bustling place at lunchtime whereas there are some others which are quieter, and one or two depressingly empty. And it's not because Kim's food is "Cordon Bleu", nor because she's selling it cheap (sorry Kim - the cakes look lovely; the stuff I eat is very good, but not "Gordon Ramsay"!). It's because of the atmposphere, and because she's caring for her customers and their needs. She makes The Cornerstone into a destination you want to go to.
What's all this about Mackerel Fishing Trips, and going to see the lighthouse? Where are the donkey rides in Melksham? I'm sorry to disappoint, but we're 40 miles from the seaside at Severn Beach
. No - this is part of Kim's decoration of the cafe for those customers of hers who won't be making it to the seaside this summer ... she's brought
the seaside to Melksham for them.
The cafe is open, Monday to Saturday, until late afternoon. It's on the corner of the Market Square in Melksham, next to the Castle News Agents and across from the Town Hall. There's a range of baked potatoes, sandwiches, an all day breakfast, salads - oh - and home made cakes, cream teas, scones and a wide range of teas, coffees and cold soft drinks too.
I expect this article will hang around a while, so by the time you read it the Seaside theme may be long since gone. But that wasn't Kim's first theme and I don't suppose it will be her last one either ... why not pop in there sometime; you'll be assured of a warm welcome, whoever you are. The "Christian" may have gone, but the respect and looking after everyone which is supposed to be an integral part of that faith is very much alive - indeed far more so than it ever was in the past - at "The Cornerstone".
(written 2009-06-14, updated 2009-06-21)
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