About Us

About Us

We run not-for-profit and commit to giving back to the community via our community interest status.

By operating a Pay it Forward scheme donated by our generous customers we support those who cannot afford a meal to eat for free. Everyone is welcome.

We all have a love for community engagement, all things inclusive and of course food.

We hope you enjoy the cafe as much as we do.

garden photo 2021

About Jo

In a past life I was an adult nurse. The project management skills I learnt during my time on a busy ward are now used to CEO an organisation full of wonderful staff & volunteers. Everyday is different and I love the variety. It could be budgets one day and looking at marketing plans the next, collaborating on grant bids and with community partners in between. Sustainable community engagement is the result of hard work to keep different elements stitched together. We love being a small but important part of that in Whitstable.

About Jenny

A recent major life re-evaluation threw me into the Umbrella Café in 2016, after over 30 years of working in London and provincial hotel management. I am passionate about creative cooking and experimenting with food, and running the café has become an important part of my life, alongside my small but perfectly formed family.

About Angela

The latest addition to the all female director team I am originally from Ireland but moved to Whitstable in 2007 from London.  The Umbrella Café was on my doorstep so I became a very regular regular enjoying coffee and cake with my family.  Chatting to the staff led me to join the front of house team in 2017, I even had a spell in the kitchen before becoming the Café Manager and more recently a Director. Before coming to this lovely town I had a very successful career working in Regeneration for both Local Authorities and Housing Associations where I managed a small team of trainees I am now enjoying the rewards of mentoring our kickstart placements and supported learning students. 

About Charlotte

The newest member of the Director team I am focused on our project work and community engagement with a side line in important cake decisions too! I moved here with my family in 2012 and love being part of such an uplifting and welcoming community here in Whitstable. Previously working as a midwife and then with a number of small charities I have always been motivated to  work in roles that support and empower for others. I joined the team after working closely on food projects during lockdown and love being a part of this woman-driven, dynamic and caring place.

Non Executive Directors

Our Voluntary Board

Sally Falvey

First up is the very lovely and brilliant marketing mind that is Sally Falvey. Sally has recently moved back to Kent with her family after a period in London, and after settling in Whitstable quickly fell in love with the Umbrella Centre and cafe. She has 15 years of experience in the tech & charity sectors flexing her marketing expertise. We are chuffed that she will be lending a little of her time to assist us.


Yvonne Fuchs

Yvonne Fuchs is an award winning business growth advisor and NED working in SME’s and social businesses for the last 25 years . With over 44 years commercial experience to senior leadership in academia and organisations . In her own right she has considerable experience as an artist, designer, educator, author and curator . She has created and supported community offerings such Brilliant Women, Slow Stitch Community, the Museum of Happiness as well as number of Business Clubs to encourage entrepreneurship among different social groups e.g Mothers Meetings, the Advantages of Age . Yvonne has been a supporter of the Cafe since opening in 2015 and a volunteer business advisor supporting the director team more recently.


Rebecca Martin

Rebecca is a journalist, content editor and copywriter with almost 20 years’ experience in media. Her portfolio includes Marie Claire, Sky, Boden, John Lewis and M&S. Rebecca moved back to Kent 7 years ago and has an office in Hive Coworking in the Umbrella Centre. She adores the cafe and everything it stands for and wrote our cover story on the launch issue of the Whitstable Whistler.