it is a coffee shop and ceramic studio based in Vladimir.
Masha Levashova opened it in the end of 2018 with the help of some friends from America. The idea: to open a coffee shop with cosy and creative atmosphere where orphan graduates will be interns and workers.
Lighthouse coffee shop its a small and cosy place in a historical heart of Vladimir. We serve coffee, tea, desserts and sandwiches. We rent a space from a museum called "An old Pharmacy". It's 200 hundred year old building where the first public pharmacy was opened. There is wonerful view from the balcony: the main Catherdral, park, river, little old houses and horizont.
We used to rent a big space where were many guests from all over the world, concerts, classes, lectures and games. Lighthouse coffee shop has always been more than just a cafe. It has been a community of people from Vladimir: creative, opened and willing to try something new.
At that space we used to rent.. we created a wonderful location (remodelled almost the builing and made great interior design) and people loved it. The landlord got jealous and tried to steal the coffee shop. We tried to go to inspection, police, court but he has bought them all. He changed the door lockers and stole interior we made, some of our things and didnt let us come in. He tried to make our staff work for him but they refused.
So.. this is how we turned out working in a small space comparing to a big coffee shop we used to have.
Even if there are so many bad people in this world, the system is spoilt, we still want to keep going and to bring light in the city of Vladimir. To serve good coffee, delicios desserts and friendly atmosphere.
I am an artist so there are many handmade things at the Lighthouse. Paintings, murals, macrame, lights and lamps, fabrics and dishes. Before opening a coffee shop i started to learn how to make things from clay and it turned out that all cups, mugs, plates are handmade. We make them at the studio space, bring to the coffee shop space and use/sell ceramics there.
Studio is located near Golden Gates and it's 7 min walk from the coffee shop. We rent a space in an office building. There we make ceramics, teach people how to make things from clay and gather together for team meetings.
All the pieces are hand sculped, hand painted and unique.
Now we produse much less than we can sell so I see so much potencial in producing more ceramics.
TEAM AND ORPHANS
There are 7 girls work at the Lighthouse. 5 at the coffee shop and 2 at the ceramic studio. 3 of them are graduates from the orphanage.
It was our mission from the beggining: to bring kids in, to train them and to give them job, skills and community. We wanted them to be loved but to do work as well as others. There are no exuces, they should do the job as others so they can learn and change.
We think that the best help for these kids it is a good place for work and a community.
To be honest I am young and still figure out things. How to run a bussiness, how to work with staff, how to support and encorage them..
But I belive that what we have here it's only a beggining of a wonderful story of the Lighthouse. In Russia and outside. I see how the Lighthouse becomes a big company: coffee shops, cafes, stores with handmade things, little hotels maybe, ceramics factory and so more! And I see that there are many orphans work there. Some work for a while, some for years. I see the community of the Lighthouse: its friendly, supportive.. like a family. I hope we could create a community that being in such a community would help kids with a transision from the orphanage to the world. To work together, to take care of them, to support and spend time together.