Journey into the Outdoors #1 : Kickback Rambles with Lauren
We are super excited to launch a brand new blog series: Journey into the Outdoors. This is an opportunity to engage in conversation with a member of our community to share their stories of the outdoors.
We will be discussing a range of topics, including what the outdoors means to our guests, how and where they connect with nature, and any messages they want to share. We hope these conversations help you reflect on how you spend your time outside and give you new ways to explore and experience the outdoors.
In this first conversation, we are talking with Lauren about all things Roastery Rambles. It has been an incredible year of growing this community: from December 2022 having just one person joining us (shout out to Ramble Regular, Paul!), to this past month in January 2024, having 80 people come along.
It has been an incredibly rewarding journey and in this conversation we dive deeper into how Roastery Rambles first came about and why we are so passionate about continuing to hold this space for people to share time outside together.
How did Kickback Rambles first come about?
It started with a small idea of wanting to bring people together and share not only a coffee but the outdoors. I had not long moved to Macclesfield and not only did I not really know the area, I also didn’t know many people. I moved up from Bristol, where the outdoor community groups had grown massively in the last few years. I had gotten so much out of these groups myself and wanted to create a similar space at Kickback, where people felt confident enough to come and talk to strangers and do both chilled and rad stuff outside. Rambles were the best way of starting out putting on more regular events because they're open to everyone, whatever age or ability.
What have you enjoyed the most about building this community?
I have loved hearing all the reasons for people joining our Rambles: to get outdoors in a new space, to be led on new trails and experience a new area, to meet like-minded people, to get outside, and try something new. We wanted people to be able to join the Rambles with as minimal equipment as possible, an old pair of walking shoes being the only thing needed for the muddy trails. I have enjoyed seeing families, individuals, dogs, and groups of friends of all ages all sharing the same space. Enjoying a coffee on us at the start really helps as an icebreaker for people coming on their own or anyone needing some time to settle into a group environment.
Earlier this month you had 80 people join the first Roastery Ramble of the year, how have you grown this community over the last year?
It has been important to focus on serving our community: the KB community is super varied, with locals, coffee lovers, outdoorsy people, city folk escaping Manchester for the day, and people travelling from further afield who use the Ramble as an impetus to visit Kickback. Everyone lives busy lives and creating a regular and consistent group for people to feel they can join as their free time allows them was the key to success. I think January was the sweet spot in some ways, people had free time and wanted to try something new. The Rambles take the daunting task of the route finding out of the equation too - so many people said they didn't realise how close the Roastery is to Lyme Park and the National Park boundary.
What have been your most proud moments leading the Rambles?
Connecting with people who truly value the community we have created. Early on in our journey, people were coming on their own as individuals, bringing families and groups of friends (not to forget, the many dogs that have joined us). As an adult, it can be hard to meet new people, especially if moved to a new area. I’ve heard so many stories of Ramblers meeting up outside our monthly, doing the same route again, or even creating new habits of regular weekend rambles themselves.
We have so many amazing regulars too, it’s a great chance to engage with the Kickback community on a more regular basis. It helps to make people feel like they are part of something and come away having shared these experiences and the outdoors with others.
What does the future have in store for Roastery Rambles?
New routes or new paths we haven’t yet explored, with the plan to take the Rambles to new spots. The main goal is to continue to bring people together, inspire and encourage people to go outside more, and form an everyday relationship with trails and paths around them.
Our next Roastery Ramble is February 4th. We’d love to see you there. Head over to our Kickback Instagram where you will find all the information you need. And feel free to drop us a message if you have any questions!