Dear Friends.

I'm running a small café in the quiet harbour town of Hafnarfjörður in Iceland. I would like to ask you your opinion, if I may. If you were to walk into a Quaker-run cafe, what would your expectations be? It could be anything from food to bookkeeping, cleaning to wages. Literally any expectations/hopes/desires relating to the running of a café in a 'Quakerly fashion'. I want to offer something that really promotes what we stand for as a Society. Any ideas? Your opinions would be very much appreciated.

In Friendship,

David

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I would want everyone to feel welcomed.  No decorations, simplicity rules.  separate areas for quite and fellowship.  

That's wonderful, James, thank you so much! Inclusive, simply decorated, and a choice of quiet or lively areas. Love it :)

James C Schultz said:

I would want everyone to feel welcomed.  No decorations, simplicity rules.  separate areas for quite and fellowship.  

Fair trade coffee, tea, and other food goods would be important if you purchase them from developing countries and aim to represent the Society well as an ethical entity. While also trendy, fair trade certification is important in that it ensures that food producers are adequately compensated and that certain standards relating to child labor laws are followed. Fair trade practices are comparable to past Quaker refusal to purchase products of slave labor.

Similarly, a fair wage (preferably a living wage, whatever that is where you live) for all full-time employees (whatever qualifies as full-time where you live) is obviously a must.

Honest customer service and bookkeeping practices are another clear requirement.

Superficially, I agree with James on the expectations of simple decor and separate spaces for quiet and fellowship. Plain wooden elements, paint in shades of grey only, and no portraiture are hallmarks of Quaker decoration. You might look at images of old Quaker meeting houses to get a sense of their style.

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