Matthews Yard: Pay it forward

by Saif Bonar in , Croydon, Greater London, United Kingdom

Matthews Yard: Pay it forward


£6,851 target 11 days left
82% 209 supporters
Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by 28th January 2022 at 11:00am

Pay it forward so we can continue serving great coffee and vegan food in our cosy West Croydon cafe.

by Saif Bonar in Croydon, Greater London, United Kingdom

Matthews Yard is a much loved and award winning community arts space which originally opened in 2012 in response to the Croydon riots. It launched the first fully crowd-funded theatre in the UK and has strived to support local community groups and creatives over the years.

The new Matthews Yard is family run and family friendly. We have a committed team of more than 12 local people who work their socks off to keep our customers coming back.

Why are you crowdfunding?
Located next to West Croydon station, after relocating to new premises and refurbishing during the height of the pandemic, we have successfully traded as a vegan cafe since 1st August 2020 (lockdowns permitting) and have experienced slow but steady growth throughout.

Then, Omicron came along and what should have been the busiest month of the year for us, has left us struggling to pay our rent and our wage bill at a time when we should have had money in the bank to tide us over for the quiet period. All our Christmas parties were cancelled, we had hundreds of no-shows for table reservations and we lost the early morning and weekday lunch trade after the government announced work-from-home recommendations.

If that wasn’t bad enough, our workhorse coffee machine is on its last legs after 10 years of solid service, and it desperately needs replacing. Commercial coffee machines don’t come cheap!

How much do you want to raise?
We are hoping to secure at least £6,851 including potential match-funding from the GLA to enable us to buy a new coffee machine and trade through Omicron, coming out stronger and more innovative on the other side.

When we designed our bar and back of house, we hadn’t expected take-away coffee, "The Hatch" or delivery platforms to be such an important aspect of the business and the design and workflow hadn’t taken this into account.


What's this match funding about?
Once our project is 10% funded someone at the GLA will decide if we are shortlisted to receive match funding of up to £10,000. To be eligible we will need at least 50 people to pledge their support to the crowdfunder and to secure the funds we will need to reach 100% of our target. £200,000 has been specifically earmarked for Croydon businesses, so we think we have a good chance of getting the support, then every £1 you pledge would be worth £2.

What will the funding be used for?
We need to invest in making improvements to the back-bar equipment and layout in order to be able to serve more customers, more quickly and efficiently while helping reduce our overheads.

5 examples of how you paying it forward will help us continue to be resilient, innovative and prepared for the future:

Eyes on the Prize!
1. New Coffee Machine. (£6,228 including filtration and installation)
Our existing coffee machine has a 25amp, 4.5kw power rating. The replacement we have identified has only a 13amp, 2.9kwh power rating but is capable of making more coffee, more quickly and more consistently. This change alone will deliver significant cost savings to the business over the lifespan of the equipment and will help us deliver an even better cup of java to you, our loyal and lovely customers.  

Stretch Goal 1: How can we help you (better)
Additional Point of Sales (£1,438)
We recently invested in a new point of sale system which enables us to serve customers more quickly. The catch is that each terminal requires an iPad and additional hardware to operate. In order to provide the best customer experience we need to add an additional point of sale to our upstairs bar and another one on our main coffee bar so that we can serve customers more quickly at peak times. This POS will include a digital display so that customers can see the transaction value in real time, instead of us having to spin the screen around (if you know, you know!)

Stretch Goal 2: Quick Time
Upgrade and relocate tea & coffee stations and associated storage (£2,500)
At the moment our coffee machine is located more than 7 metres away from the hatch, the window through which we serve customers on Station Road. By securing additional funding we will be able to consolidate our back bar operations and locate the coffee machine and associated equipment in a much tighter cluster close to the hatch. We would also swap the surfaces with stainless steel wherever possible, to provide more durability and improved hygiene. This would involve additional plumbing, electrical and maintenance works but would save our team time and energy, allow us to serve more customers more quickly and provide a better experience for staff and customers for the long term.

Stretch Goal 3: Help yourself!
Self serve filter water points (£800)

We no longer sell bottled water and instead provide complimentary filtered water to our customers. At the moment we do this by refilling and recleaning numerous glass jugs throughout the day. With funding we would like to install 2 self-serve filtered water points in the premises so that customers can help themselves and fill up their own reusable bottles, or use ours as needed. This will save staff time, reduce handling and help us continue to reduce our environmental footprint.    

We ask project owners to honour their rewards wherever possible but please note that all pledges are donations and there is no guarantee that you will receive any rewards from the project owner. Please see our Terms of Use for more information regarding rewards for pledges.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£50 or more

12 of 100 claimed

£50 Giftcard and limited edition face mask

Pledge £50 today and we'll reward you with a £50 pound gift card and a limited edition Matthews Yard fabric facemask. PLEDGE NOW> CLAIM LATER

£10 or more

£10 Gift Card

Pay it forward for £10 and help us get through the next stage of COVID. PLEDGE NOW > CLAIM LATER

£25 or more

£25 Gift Card

Pledge £25 today and we'll reward you with a £25 gift card to use in the future. PLEDGE NOW> CLAIM LATER

£28 or more


Become a member of Matthews Yard for a year and get 15% off all food and drink purchases.

£100 or more

3 of 100 claimed

£100 Giftcard and limited edition t shirt

Pledge £100 today and we'll reward you with a £100 gift voucher to redeem in the future and a limited edition T shirt. PLEDGE NOW> CLAIM LATER

£128 or more

Corporate Membership

Get corporate membership of Matthews Yard for 12 months and you and your team of up to 50 people can get 15% off all food and drink for a year.

£250 or more

1 of 20 claimed

Room hire for your event or party

Pledge £250 or more and get exclusive use of our Platform 2 events space for up to 50 people for 8 hours on a day of your choosing (subject to availability)

£1,250 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Exclusive Venue Hire

Exclusive use of the entire venue including cafe area, upstairs lounge and platform 2 events space for 8 hours on a day or night of your choosing. (between 7am and Midnight, 7 days a week).

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