Founded in 2019, Ardwick’s ARMR Store is a Caribbean cafe, health food shop and community space.
It was set up by Raph Evans, from Ardwick, with the aim of supporting the local community through employment, training, events – and a healthy alternative to fast food outlets.
Raph has overcome a stalled professional football career and a spell in prison to become an inspirational figure within Ardwick, and beyond.
Now, ARMR Store is crowdfunding for the kitchen facilities it needs to continue its unique work, with a target of £25,000.
ARMR Store’s crowdfunding campaign offers a wide range of rewards for investors, from the likes of celebrated Manchester chef Mary-Ellen McTague; local musicians OneDa, Superlative & Karis and KinKai; and support from local high profile UFC fighters like Lerone Murphy.
“Ardwick is one of Manchester’s most deprived neighbourhoods, with high levels of unemployment and low levels of self-employment,” says Raph.
“I’m a big believer in ‘If you see it, you can be it’.
“So I want to inspire others; to send positive ripples of inspiration and opportunity out into my community.
“I truly believe that Ardwick is more than just deprivation, more than just statistics – it’s an untapped source of pure potential.
“I do most of the cooking for ARMR Store at my mum’s house round the corner, before bringing it into the cafe to serve to customers.
“It’s not an ideal way to run things.
“I need a proper fitted kitchen for ARMR so that I can serve more people more quickly, expand the menu and extend opening hours, offering fresh and healthy food to the community.
“Raising this money for the kitchen means ARMR Store can provide more training and mentoring opportunities for local young people.
“We can run more events promoting mental and physical wellbeing. We can carry on supporting local business owners and artists in the shop.
“And we can keep supporting non-profit groups and providing food to people in need.
“So that’s why I’m launching this crowdfunding campaign.
“I’m massively grateful to those who’ve offered one-of-a-kind rewards to support the campaign.”
For more details of the crowdfunding page, with all the rewards available, click here.