Owned by the education charity, Hackney Pirates, The Ship of Adventures is a place where stories come to life and the community comes together. We are a social enterprise cafe, gift shop and events space on the buzzing Kingsland High Street in Dalston, London. Help us become one of East London’s most popular independent book shops!
We are a social enterprise cafe, gift shop and events space on the buzzing Kingsland High Street in Dalston, London (https://goo.gl/maps/pHSX1w4LZov). The Ship is owned by the Hackney Pirates, an education charity in Hackney. All profits from the Ship go directly to supporting the work of the charity.
The Hackney Pirates is an enterprising charity working to develop the literacy, confidence and perseverance of young people in Hackney, so that they achieve both in school and in the world beyond. We know that young people sometimes need some extra help to achieve their full potential. We believe that providing support outside of school can really help young people to do better in the classroom, while also developing their broader skills. We also believe that learning should be a great adventure! So working together with local schools, families and volunteers, we deliver unique real-world learning projects in our own unconventional learning environment, the Ship of Adventures.
The Ship of Adventures opened its doors 4 years ago in March 2014, and has developed the business from an idea into a reality. However, the key focus is to push for growth in order to ensure the business is financially sustainable and generating profit for the charity.
Key challenges the business faces are:
- How do we operate a unique children’s bookshop, at a time where online shopping is at its peak, and in an area of economic disparity?
- How do we manage seasonal change?
- How do our coffee shop and space hire play into the book business?
We are looking for advice and support to boost income and become one of East London’s most popular independent book shops. The types of activities we think might fall into answering this question are:
- Market research around book shops, and book+coffee shops in London. Are there any lessons we could learn?
- Customer research and marketing advice. Who are our different target customers, how do we reach them, what other things do they care about? e.g. mums that care about children's activities as well as books.
- We would also welcome the team to try out any new ideas e.g. hosting events to boost sales, making efforts to build partnerships with other organisations e.g. local parents groups.
This is not exhaustive or fixed, and we would like your input on the agreed activities!