NANA is a comfort food and community cafe run by older ladies from the local area. For older ladies it’s a chance to get out the house, meet new people, and put a lifetime worth of skills to good use, and for everyone else it’s a place to enjoy proper hearty home cooked food at a reasonable price.
Retirement is great for some, but others miss the sense of purpose, achievement and social interaction that comes through work, and would like to continue to be active, and make new local connections. NANAs (older ladies in the local area) volunteer at least five hours of their time a week to make and serve food in a local café, or teach small groups in the afternoons. After three months of commitment, they become part of the NANA partnership. This means a percentage of the profits are shared between them every four months. Some people are using this to supplement their pensions, others are going to give it to charity.
The first NANA café opened in The Elderfield Pub (normally closed during the day) in Clapton, East London, in November 2012. Six NANAs are cooking at the cafe, supported by others running sessions, serving and volunteering to support recruitment and communications.
Plans for the future include recruiting more NANAs, developing a franchise model to roll out more NANA cafes, and perhaps even developing NANA branded merchandise like tea-towels and jam!