Food11th October 2013

Pinnocks - A Delightful Deaf Friendly Coffee House

During a weekend break Sarah visited Pinnocks Coffee House in Ripley, Surrey. She was delighted to find the staff were deaf aware and one of the partners fluent in BSL. It made for a relaxing and enjoyable visit!

by slfirst.sdeacy

Deaf-Friendly Coffee HouseLike most people, I enjoy popping into a coffee house when out socially. The trouble is, when I am out socially, I don't have an interpreter with me, and rarely have I been treated by staff in any of the big chains, in what I would describe as a Deaf Friendly way. That makes it hard to relax and a much less enjoyable experience.

On a recent trip to visit an old friend in Surrey, I had the pleasure of being taken to Pinnock’s Coffee House, on the High Street in Ripley. Wow! Right from the get go, Russell the owner was thoughtful and made us feel welcome. The fact he could use BSL to communicate with us was a bonus. Russell said, “A trip to Pinnock’s is all about the experience. We pride ourselves on making each and every person feel welcome and relaxed, as well as providing good food and coffee.”

The big chains could learn a lot from the genuine warmth that greeted us.

What I liked most is that we were treated the same as everyone else, with the exception that BSL was the means to communicate. No fuss, just seamless, as though it was an every day occurrence, and certainly nothing to get excited about.

Unlike many previous experiences, I instantly felt relaxed and welcome, whereas in some of the bigger chains I have been treated as though I had horns growing out of my head, and made to feel that I was an ‘inconvenience’! The welcome and hospitality at Pinnock’s was excellent, but the rest of the café experience did not disappoint either.

The freshly made food was excellent, presented well and it was delicious. The coffee was probably the best I have ever tasted, and I established that Russell had a passion for coffee, and that passion permeates into the running of the business. “All of our food is made fresh on the premises daily,” explained Russell, “and we roast our eight different organic coffees every couple of days to ensure it is as fresh as possible. We are passionate about what we produce for each customer.” The following day I returned and tried out one of the homemade cakes, and that did not disappoint at all.

At Pinnock’s, everything felt very homely and very nice, and it was no surprise to see a group of 8 Deaf people sit down for a coffee and a pastry too. Attitudes count for a lot, and in this lovely coffee house, it counted for better business for the owners and a pleasurable experience for the customers.

My only regret is that Pinnock’s is not on my doorstep. If it was, I imagine I may pop in every day, much to the detriment of my weight loss intentions. With meeting space upstairs, in what is described as an area resembling a Gentlemen’s Club, I would certainly be having my team meetings there.

Well done Pinnock’s Coffee House, Ripley – we hope your excellent practices are taken up by others!

Article by slfirst.sdeacy

posted in Deaf Lifestyle / Food

11th October 2013