Caring baristas at a coffee shop in Wrexham have won an award for their community-spirited approach.
The team at Costa at the Odeon Cinema in Eagles Meadow shopping centre were presented with the Community Engagement Award at a glittering prize giving ceremony at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.
Assistant manager Joanne Jubb said: “We had no idea we were winners although we knew we had been nominated. We were the only outlet out of 42 Odeon-based Costa Coffee’s nationwide to win an award.
“The venue was absolutely packed and it was a total surprise and all a bit nerve wracking to be honest.”
According to Joanne, they put a great deal of effort into good customer relations and building links with the community.
Among those to make a splash was barista Gareth Hopkins who swam the equivalent of the English Channel in the pool at Wrexham Water World.
Gareth took on the 22 mile swim to raise money for Diabetes UK.
The 27-year-old, who has worked at Costa since the popular café first opened more than six years ago, was recovering from three months off work after suffering a bad case of sciatica.
After starting to swim as a way of getting back to some level of fitness, he spotted a Diabetes UK advert looking for people to take part in the Swim 22 challenge and thought it was something he could do.
Costa also provided the venue for the debut performance of the school choir from Ysgol Alexandra.
The young songsters served up a rousing selection of seasonal favourites for people to enjoy along with their skinny lattes and Americanos.
Joanne added: “It’s just a wonderful place to work. We have regular customers who come in on a daily basis and know us all by name and we know their names. They become like friends and we are really like a little family.
“We have been involved quite a bit with community engagement around Wrexham. For instance we have visited a Wrexham primary school to give a presentation on coffee, where it comes from and the importance of Fair Trade.
“We also held a coffee party for our regular customers giving them the opportunity to try new products for free. That was a wonderful day and very well supported.
“Staff members have also been fundraising for a variety of good causes including our own Costa Foundation through sponsored runs and walks.
She added: “And we work very closely with Odeon staff so when we have a new Disney film coming out we put on event for children such as wand making or mask painting.
“It’s just nice to see our efforts appreciated and rewarded. Everyone here at Costa, and we have 12 full and part-time members of staff, takes a great deal of pride in winning this fabulous award. Everyone played a part.”
Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley was delighted for the team at Costa.
He said: “The staff at Costa enjoy a great relationship with their customers, particularly the regular customers who go in most days to enjoy a coffee.
“It’s always nice when your work and effort is recognised and I’m extremely pleased their excellent customer service and community involvement has been rewarded. They definitely deserve this award.”