In a three-hour meeting with Ken Livingstone's diversity advisor, we debate the merits of recognising kinky and sex-positive businesses as social/community enterprises. We go through a screening process with the expert responsible for all social enterprises in London at the time. Four hours at the City Hall later, it becomes apparent that we do indeed tick all the boxes. Eureka! Finally, we have a name for something we've been doing for since the day we opened our doors back in 2003! With official recognition, opportunities arrive. Tamara, as good as her word, puts the weight of the Mayor's Office behind us. Coffee, Cake & Kink is subsequently featured in the Mayor's newsletter for London, and endorsed in its social enterprise efforts. Resulting collaborations lead to our eventual involvement with DWP/JCP and Future Jobs Fund.
The Mayor likes us :) As does London Development Agency :) As does Radio 4 :) Out of a sudden - or might it be years of networking and prejudice-busting? - we help develop all sorts of local government programs and debate EU proposals live on air with the CEO of the British Hospitality Association. Not bad for the little kinky us!
We assemble a collection of unique goods, many exclusive to us, in a new online shop aiming to provide a bridge between premises, and continuity to CCK while we are off the high street. We have not stopped trading for one day since opening the doors in 2003. All through to 2012, customers will visit us in our Gray's Inn office, popping in to collect their goods, say hi, and have some coffee and cake while they are at it.
Sonia, CCK's director, and Bob Cotton, CEO of the British Hospitality Association, discuss small business EU proposals and what they mean for UK SMEs on Liz Barclay's "You And Yours" consumer affairs programme. It's the first time we are asked to participate in a business forum discussion without the K-word clouding the issues.
Patrick Elliott, CEO of Business Link, joins us in the CCK Lounge for coffee to discuss sexual and gender diversity issues and how small, high-impact changes - such as the "transgender" option introduced on Business Link's nationwide entrepreneur profiles - may further the causes of inclusion and diversity. We have similar conversations with LDA and various local government agencies.