Huddle managers, Matt & Bianca

Matt & Bianca, the team behind Huddle, the cafe at the heart of Transformation Mission Cornwall

Matt and Bianca. Even their names are cool. And not just because they sound like an 80s band. Matt and Bianca are the two new managers of the Huddle, a café due to open next month on the high street in Falmouth, just below Church of King Charles the Martyr. If you know Falmouth, you’ll know exactly where it is – right in the corner where Church Street meets Arwenack Street, the main shopping thoroughfare in Falmouth. You might even say it sits like a cornerstone.

They have lots of wonderful stories to share about their faith and their journey with God and, sitting with them discussing their plans for the café, it’s impossible not to warm to the couple and know that Cornwall has been richly blessed by God sending them to us.

Stepping out in faith and out of our comfort zone

Married with three small children, Matt is originally from Wales and Bianca from Croydon. They’d made their home in Caterham before leaving everything behind at the end of this summer, “We were very comfortable – close family nearby, good jobs, schools and amazing church – but we felt God had something up His sleeve!” says Bianca. Both say they knew at the beginning of this year that change was in the air, that God had plans but they had no idea at the time what those plans might be.

“It was amazing,” says Matt, “so many people took us aside and said they felt God was prompting us to prepare for change. We just said, Ok Lord we’re open and available.”

“We even started to sort out our house – clear the loft, de-clutter, streamline our lives I guess, so that we would be ready if the time came,” says Bianca. And come it did in the shape of the position as café managers at Huddle as part of the hugely exciting Transformation Mission Cornwall.

“Moving to Cornwall is like our wildest dream come true”, says Matt. “I holidayed here every year as a child and pretty much every year since we’ve been married – we are blown away that we are actually living here!”

Huddle Cafe key to Transformation Mission Cornwall

Being café managers does little to describe the job that is evolving around them. The Huddle will be a key part in Transformation Mission Cornwall. It will be the aptly positioned cornerstone that will not just reach out to students and the people of Falmouth, but hopes to provide the means to unite and create opportunities for multi-generational fellowship.

“I love all things creative,” says Bianca. “We could organise craft sessions here, have older ladies (and men) knitting alongside younger students, sharing stories, experiences and knitting patterns! Showcase artwork, run art workshops, writing workshops …”

“Music events!” adds Matt, a talented worship leader. “I’d love to see this as a platform for new artists, new music and worship.”

Art, crafts, music, worship – all of that and tea, coffee and cake!

“But not just any old cake – we’d love the wider church communities that we sit in the middle of to be part of the café by baking cakes for us. “What could be better, serving food that’s been baked with prayer and love?”

They’d also like the café to be the first venue in Falmouth to go plastic free. “That would be amazing. We’re looking into the feasibility of it,” says Bianca who used to work for Christian Aid and knows all about the impact and shame of waste in the world.

Matt used to work for Mencap, getting people with learning difficulties into meaningful employment. “It was brilliant, making those links with industry and showing them how they could not only improve the circumstances of the people Mencap worked with, but also of their own businesses. Without fail, they all found it enriching and said they wished they’d got onboard with the initiative years ago.”

An adventure underpinned by prayer warrior mums and a garage owner

The couple’s zest for life and enthusiasm for the tasks ahead is infectious. They both claim to have fantastic ‘Prayer Warrior Mums’ who regularly meet with friends and pray for their children. The power of that foundational support is clear to see as they share the story of the day they arrived (or almost didn’t) in Cornwall.

“We left really early,” says Bianca. “We had the children and the cat in the back and the last of our worldly goods in our vintage caravan that we were towing. By 10am we’d made it to Somerset and admit to feeling pretty smug about how well the journey had been going, so much so we decided to stop for a coffee break.”

“And that’s when our trouble began,” carries on Matt. After setting off again, the car began to make the most appalling noise and they pulled over while they still could. A rescue service was duly called and, three hours later, delivered the news that despite trying with multiple new parts and calling all the local garages (who were unable to assist), the only thing left was to tow them the rest of the way at a cost close to £600. So, they waved goodbye to the rescue service.

“We didn’t have £600!” says Matt. “I was frantically praying and thought, even though he’d said no-one could help, I thought I would just google a garage and give it a go.” Thankfully the man who answered said he could help but that they would need to get to him, which was ten minutes away.

“We had to just go for it,” carries on Bianca. “The car sort of started and sort of lurched forwards and despite the awful noise crawled along for a few miles. But the traffic was mounting behind us the noise getting worse, so we pulled over to a lane and let the car just roll down the hill. It came to a stop right outside the garage that had agreed to help us!”

It didn’t end there. It transpired that the owner was a Christian who prayed every morning that God would send someone to him that he could bless. Enter Matt and Bianca. After spending the rest of the day with the garage owner and his family, who fed them and gave them refuge, the owner towed them all the way to Cornwall and absolutely refused all offers of money.

“It was like God was saying to us, that no matter where you are on this crazy journey, I’ve got your back!”

Not that Matt and Bianca really needed confirmation that they were on a journey of God’s making, but it was an affirming start to what must surely be a wonderful adventure in Falmouth.