Blenz Coffee – HOpe Centre

Blenz HOpe Centre Manager Jo-Anne MacDougall & Barrista Matt Mazzei. Clients
The Canadian Mental Heath Association (North & West Vancouver Branch) and Vancouver Coastal Health are actively engaged in delivering mental health services and education to the public on the North Shore.

Challenge
CMHA and VCH realized that with the development of the new Greta & Robert H.N. HO Centre for Psychiatry & Education, there was a unique opportunity for a social enterprise café within the HOpe Centre that would provide employment for people with lived experience with mental illness. They needed a feasibility study and an action plan to provide direction for the development of this unique social enterprise, and expert advice to bring together partners from the private, non profit and healthcare sectors in order to make it happen.

Approach
Propellor engaged with CMHA, VCH and Blenz Coffee to:

  • Assess the market potential for the café
  • Provide a comprehensive feasibility study, including pro forma financial projections and a risk assessment
  • Advise the partners on the framework and negotiations for the multi-party agreements including the lease and franchising of the Blenz concept for the café
  • Develop a framework for a supported employment model
  • Outline an Action Plan for the development and opening of the cafe

Result
CMHA and VCH successfully opened the Blenz Coffee social enterprise café in the HOpe Centre, providing ongoing employment for persons with lived experience with mental illness. The café also serves as a community meeting place for HOpe centre staff, patients and residents of the North Shore. The café serves as model of how bringing together partners from diverse sectors can create successful enterprises that deliver positive social and financial outcomes.

Download the Blenz Coffee HOpe Centre case study PDF