Growing Aylesbury community hub starting to thrive after lockdowns
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An Aylesbury community hub which was launched just as Covid hit is beginning to thrive.
A couple living in Aylesbury launched a new community space when noticing the lack of similar ventures in town.
Located on Aylesbury High Street,The Petri Dish, is a venture which started roughly three years ago, it was ready to launch just when Covid hit.
Now, having survived three lockdowns, the business is truly ready to thrive and become a one-stop shop for Aylesbury residents.
Not just a vegan cafe, The Petri Dish has rooms which can be opened up to the public.
It is offering a huge range of weekly activities for people of all ages including, drama classes, amateur art exhibitions, open mic nights, and rehearsal rooms for Aylesbury artists looking to find their way.
Frank Aperto who founded the business with his wife, said: "These events are for everyone, regardless of their background, culture, or anything else, it is for the community.
"We want to plan substantial events, mental health related activities, that's something which is really important to us."
A key aspect of this community-led business is inclusivity.
Frank went onto describe the purpose of his art cafe sessions which run every fortnight.
He added: "People can show their paintings in a safe space. It is very important, because people can be scared or they don't have the confidence, we want them to trust themselves and show what they can do."
One regular at the Petri Dish, described Frank as a 'generous hearted and warm character who motivates those around him'.
Neither Frank or his wife have a background in the hospitality industry, his partner worked as an accountant, while Frank worked in the IT industry.
He describes his 19-year professional journey since moving to the UK as 'starting at the right bottom'.
As well as trying to provide regular entertainment to locals by making live music a weekly occurrence in the building, the business is also taking an active role in community projects.
It recently agreed to become a distribution point for the Aylesbury Food Bank.
Frank is hoping to finalise arrangements for an event dedicated to raising funds for the people of Ukraine this week.