The Cafe From An Outsider's Perspective
The following is a guest blog post from Sophie Edlich, (pronouns she/her). We are appreciative of her kind, outsider’s perspective on our business!
The Hideaway Café stands in the heart of Old Town as a much-needed caffeine provider, and as a prominent feature of the community. People often retreat here to take a coffee break in the shop’s unique atmosphere.
You might be curious as to what may be behind the café doors that sets it apart from other coffee shops. When you step inside, you’ll notice pride flags basking in the sunlit windows. Flyers and posters about organizations and events that are unique to the local community fill the corkboards. A painting of the world’s relationship with coffee fills an entire wall where people sit, enjoying their drinks and time together. You might spot people playing board games in the cozy lounge area. The atmosphere and sense of community becomes clear and helps you understand why people prefer this shop over national chain coffee houses. But there’s a lot more to uncover to fully explain why this place has such strong roots in Winchester, VA.
Much of what makes the café so unique comes from the owner that fuels its purpose. Meet Victoria Kidd, an activist, speaker, writer, and entrepreneur with a history of involvement in activism efforts and global humanitarian causes. Passionate to empower others into making change in their own communities, she established the Hideaway Café in 2015 as a hub for that kind of work.
In its humble beginnings, the café was concealed in the basement of the historic Old Post Office in Winchester. Despite its location, the coffee shop began with a purpose to welcome everyone as they are and to share good coffee in a community-based atmosphere. Word of the café soon spread and in 2018, the location was moved to the Old Town pedestrian mall, making itself much easier to be spotted in the public eye.
People that come to the café today can easily tell that they are somewhere special and that they are welcome. It is set up as an aesthetically pleasing place to lounge, study, and get to know each other. It’s a place to be used for one’s own will, which strengthens the personal connection between the café and its customers.
Victoria Kidd herself can often be found behind the bar serving up drinks. Her and her employees listen to their customers and make each one feel valued and at home. And if this form of valuing their customers wasn’t enough to provide to their community, the café helps the wheels of the community continue to turn by actively participating in and spreading the news of Winchester events and programs. Their giant corkboard is full of chances for people to participate in their community and the shop itself serves as a center for people to lead their projects.
The business has raised over $50,000 in donations for local nonprofits and charitable cuases since opening. Beside donating year-round, they have also actively participated in projects that have ranged from leading a summer meals program for participating youth at the Kids Clubs of the Northern Shenandoah Valley (formerly the Boys and Girls Club) to organizing an annual food drive collecting over nearly three tons of donations since its inception. They also lead monthly fundraisers for nonprofits across a wide range of service types.
The Hideaway Café is a coffee shop amongst several others in Winchester. But no café can closely compare itself to what we have to offer. And that can all be thanks to one simple reason that Victoria Kidd explained, saying, “We are the community’s coffee house. We make it our duty to serve each person through compassion, activism, teamwork, and of course, caffeine.”
So, whether you’re here to get to know the people of Winchester a little better, to lead an organization to improve the community, or simply to relax for a while, Hideaway is happy to serve you.