Starbeck cafe tackling the cost of living crisis
Last updated Jul 2, 2022
Sarah Khanye, who runs the Living Room cafe

A cafe in Starbeck has become a hub for the local community, which is rallying together in the face of the cost of living crisis.

The Living Room Café is run by Sarah Khanye and inside the Life Destiny Church at 93b High Street.

The family-friendly space opens from Tuesday to Friday from 9am until 3pm and hosts a variety of events that aim to bring the community together with homemade food, drinks and treats available.

Ms Khanye, 31, has worked in catering all her life. When the Stray Ferret visited yesterday, she looked at home with a spoon in a bowl as she made a cake.

She set up the cafe over two years ago, before covid and before the cost of living crisis.

Both have unquestionably increased stress, isolation and anxiety for people living in Starbeck.

The cafe aims to be not just a place to fill up your belly, but also somewhere where local families and friends can get together in a welcoming space.

Ms Khayne said:

“One cup of tea can last all day. The cafe helps people feel safe, combats loneliness and improves mental health.”


The cafe is volunteer-run, with prices kept affordable.

It also includes a pantry and community fridge that includes donated food from places like the Co-op, which people are able to pay for with whatever they can afford.

The cafe also hosts events including community running clubs, craft and coffee mornings and get-togethers for mums, among other activities.

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Cost of living

Starbeck is one of the least affluent areas in the Harrogate district with many residents more vulnerable to increasing prices.

Life Destiny Church also runs a food bank, which has seen demand increase sharply.

Ms Khanye says in the last two months alone, the number of people coming to the food bank has gone up by a “massive, massive” amount as the cost of living crisis continues to bite.

She said:

“People in Starbeck are worried about the cost of living. A lot of people have limited income so numbers are growing.”

But with difficult times ahead, Ms Khanye believes Starbeck will stick together through choppy waters.

She added:

“I just like to see people enjoy the community where they live.

“Seeing families being able to support each other is massive. It would be a sad thing not to work here!”

Some of the events the cafe puts on.