Some of you may have read our review on The Rabbit Hole in Llandudno and it was one of those rare times that we gave somewhere 5 stars, the innovative café has just had its official launch, so let’s find out more about this unique place to visit and enjoy.
A new social enterprise for Llandudno with its café, therapy suite and community area aims to influence the health and well-being of Conwy County and its visitors by ensuring that deliciously healthy food is served for its customers and by offering a venue for young and old alike to meet and learn how to cook healthily.
The town-centre ‘Rabbit Hole’ café, Wellbeing Centre and food academy at the Llandudno premises of mental health charity Aberconwy Mind is launched today, 19 September, in the presence of Welsh Assembly member Janet Finch Saunders and the Mayor of Llandudno, Councillor Malcolm Bullock JP.
Launched with Big Lottery and Cyfenter funding under the auspices of Aberconwy Mind, the Rabbit Hole is in part a café with a professional catering team and both a salaried and volunteer staff. Many of the volunteers have had access to the charitable services of Aberconwy Mind and – through the café – can acquire the necessary skills and confidence to re-engage with the job market. The Rabbit Hole also aims to offer alternative therapies and community activities around health and wellbeing.
As a social enterprise, the Rabbit Hole places social value at the heart of how it works, and profits from the café will be ploughed back in to the charity so as to deliver support for more trainees, support for Mind, and maximum benefit for the local community.
Adopting the principle that a healthy body can help improve and maintain a healthy mind, the Rabbit Hole menu offers fresh, innovative dishes utilising locally sourced ingredients, and promotes healthy, nutritious foodstuffs including organic, vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan. The Wellbeing Centre will also be assisting people to a healthier body via its other services and opportunities.
Manager Jerome Pineau said: “One of our main aims is to provide real and meaningful work experience and training for some of our volunteer staff who have experienced or are experiencing mental health issues. We are striving to create a unique and memorable experience for each and every customer by attention to detail and a true love of what we are doing.”
Mr Pineau, a Frenchman who has lived in North Wales for 13 years, added: “We intend, early next year, to start offering catering classes in our small cooking classroom so as to encourage people of all ages, but particularly the young, to learn how to cook and eat healthily.”
In due course, it is also intended that an outside catering service will be developed, providing healthy dishes for a variety of customers and functions. A number of volunteers are, and will continue to be, undertaking catering and hospitality training courses at Coleg Llandrillo, Rhos on Sea.
The Rabbit Hole subscribes to and supports the mission and strategy of national mental health charity Mind and adopts as its key principles the values of autonomy, equality, knowledge, participation and respect.
The café reflects Llandudno’s links with Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland, and its décor has a subtle white-rabbit theme.
Aberconwy Mind Director, Ms Gail Silver, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that we have launched this innovative café and Wellbeing Centre which we hope will provide an opportunity for anyone experiencing mental distress to gain valuable experience and confidence in the work place.”
The Rabbit Hole café and Wellbeing Centre is just off Llandudno’s main Mostyn Street on Trinity Square, and is open seven days a week between 10 am and 4 pm.
Featured Image, pictured from left to right Mayoress of Llandudno Mrs Freda Bullock, Project Manager Mr Jerome Pineau, Mayor of Llandudno Cllr Malcolm Bullock, Janet Finch-Saunders AM, Gail Silver Director of Aberconwy Mind.