On Thursday 30 April ‘Stories’ hosted its official launch party. Stories is a Social Enterprise Espresso Bar pioneered by the Diocese’s Young Adults Enablers, Scottie and Anna Reeve. The project was conceptualised to create a solution to the youth employment crisis in New Zealand by establishing a first-step to work for young people graduating Zeal Youth Centre’s Barista Training Academy. So far the venture has provided over 200 hours of first-time employment to two young people, Georgia (17) and Reyne (16), and will soon expand to involve 20 each year in work experience and paid-employment positions.
The project received support from the Bishop’s Action Fund and was also supported by a wide variety of other trusts and individuals such as The Cathy Pelly Memorial Fund, The Boulcott Fund, The Ministry of Youth Development, The Wellington City Council and The Nikau Foundation. The first supporters of the fundraising effort were AMP, who chose the project out of 2500 from throughout New Zealand to be one of 12 scholarship recipients. The project was then extensively supported by Wellington’s Deputy Mayor, Justin Lester, and opened its doors officially on 12 March.
The espresso bar is based out of a renovated shipping container which has been carefully designed to fit all necessary equipment and even a little bit of space for seating. The opening event drew over 50 people on a sub-zero Wellington evening to enjoy coffee made by young employees and music from local artist Mimi Gilbert. Venture Manager Scottie Reeve shared the vision for the project saying, “When we are lucky enough to have people in our lives that help us achieve to the best of our potential we have a responsibility to send the elevator back down again. This project is about those of us who have benefited from great support in our teenage years remembering that our role is to help the next generation discover their potential.”
The café is located at 40 Cuba Street, Wellington by the New Zealand Hockshop.