Five years ago this morning the doors of Third Space Smithfield opened to the public for the first time. Back in September 2011 a couple of crazies had signed a lease on a property in Smithfield, an area that was going through tough times. Those crazies had a dream but not enough money. By mid November the money had run out and the bank backed off on its funding promise. By January the needed money had come from others who were ready to go with the dream, the builders were back in and the space began to be transformed. By lunchtime that first day there was a crowd. A few days later our card machine broke down and we told people who wanted to pay by card they could pay the next day – that we trusted them. Delighted at being trusted, they started to trust us and Third Space began. Half a million cups of coffee later the adventure continues. Every time you buy one of those coffees you don’t just keep a business going, you fund social and community space in the city, you support employment programmes for people seeking to get into work, you help local projects do good, you contribute to exhibition space for artists, you help fund a small loan scheme to food businesses in developing countries – and you get an excellent cup of coffee at a good price served by friendly staff who want you to feel at home. Crazy indeed!

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