I was very sad to learn last week about the recent closure of Green Cuisine in Rowlands Road.
When I first moved to Worthing with my family almost 11 years ago, we were assured that it was changing from being a sleepy satellite town to being a vibrant, creative community.
Although I did see some signs of this being the case, they were pretty hard to spot for a long time until Green Cuisine came along four years ago.
From the very start, owner Clare McIvor blazed her own trail, creating a unique restaurant for vegetarians and vegans.
But Green Cuisine was far from a hippy hangout – its delicious cakes, eccentric mismatched china and buzzy, welcoming atmosphere made it a hit with a wide range of customers, including even the most dedicated of carnivores.
However, where Green Cuisine really stood out was in its community focus. Food has always been a big uniter, and Clare harnessed that, seeing her restaurant host mother and baby groups, networking meetings, charity events, play afternoons, pamper nights, business brainstorming sessions, creativity workshops, prayer groups, book clubs, ukulele lessons, children’s parties or just friends meeting up for lunch.
The restaurant was a big supporter of local and national charities, with Clare often working all hours to support the likes of Worthing Churches Homeless Project, Greenpeace or Worthing Society for the Blind amongst many.
The common factor in all of these activities was bringing people together – money was raised, friendships were forged and businesses were built, fuelled by tea and homemade cake.
Green Cuisine was not just a restaurant but the embodiment of Clare’s values and love of community. Since its inception four years ago, Worthing has taken a big leap forwards and is now the town that we were promised all that time ago.
Of course, Green Cuisine wasn’t entirely responsible for that, but Clare provided the community with a place to meet and grow its dreams.
Archimedes famously said ‘give me a place to stand and I will move the Earth’. Maybe, just maybe, Green Cuisine was Worthing’s place. It will be sadly missed.
I’d love to hear your memories of Green Cuisine. Visit www.facebook.com/WomanInBusiness or tweet me @coachbythecoast.