Pasha with the old and new cafe signs
In June this year, we hired a new manager for our cafe. Here, he explains our vision for the cafe that resulted in the name change.
Hello, I'm Pasha, and I came here as a volunteer for about 6 years before I finally started to work here. When the cafe opened 3 years ago, I wanted to help and they asked me to roast the coffee. It was hard to learn to do it right but I can make great coffee now - my love for coffee grew and I've never looked back!
When it opened, it was the English Cup, for people to come who were learning English who wanted to meet foreigners and practice their English. But now that we're Salem Social Village, learning English is only one of the things we do. The cafe is where English Conversation Clubs happen, the Corner of Hope social club for people with disabilities, the volunteering club, our Friday evening social events, and much more!
Our new name is the Salem Social Cafe, because this is the heart of the community at the Social Village. We work hard to create a great atmosphere, welcoming everyone and making them feel special - we try and give unusually friendly service compared to what they're used to. We're also the only social cafe in the city (and maybe the country!), all our profits go towards other projects to help those in need, but we are still very proud of our good quality food and drinks - especially the coffee!
Unique, welcoming and quality - that's how we want people to know us. I love working with a team of great people who are part of something that's making a difference in Shymkent. Thanks for your support in making this possible!
The new sign: 'Salem Social Cafe' in Kazakh
The social club having fun in the cafe
Students having fun in the cafe
Pasha hard at work making coffee
The cafe team (spot the old English Cup sign!)