THE MILA STORY
Mila customers are a curious lot- they want to know what’s in the food (only good things), who makes it (we do), how long we’ve been in business (since October 2011), and the South African connection (Steve and chefs Jodi and Susan are South African).
What’s in a name?
We’re often asked about the name, and the answer is a long one (that doesn’t fit neatly into brackets). Mila is a Zulu word meaning “to grow”, and it felt like a good fit with our ideas for doing something new with the derelict nightclub and wine bar with weeds in the paving and vagrants in the cellar.
It was only after we settled for Mila as a name that we learned that the only other language in which it means anything is Sanskrit- the language of Yoga- where it’s the root for the word “meet”. Some things are just meant to be.
Steve designed the original logo with a felt-tip pen on copier paper; and the apple was added later. It was picked from the tree of life designed for the original website by Jess Leal, a talented textile designer and former yoga student. Mila yogis and others will know her tree as the beautiful mural in the studio.
Meeting & Growing: the Mila Community
At cafe Mila we’ve seen friendships (and relationships) flourish and watched children grow from bumps into messy toddlers, superheroes and princesses. Doodles on napkins become project plans and trips around the world; books and business proposals are written over espressos and pots of tea.
In the cafe we celebrate ART in all its forms. The regular exhibitions that fill the cafe walls with colour started as an impromptu display of work by staff and a few friends. The last Summer event featured 16 talented local artists. In the first half of 2014 we’ve also hosted solo events and an exhibition of final year photography (with champagne & canapé reception) for Prior’s Field School.
We plan to grow the Mila Art Event to include more performing arts, and are always open to suggestions for expanding the community in any way.
Local cellist Alan Brett appears regularly at Art events, acoustic trio Gekko -featuring the exquisite voice of Heather Golding- are regular guests, and the Godalming Jazz Choir practices and performs here.
Mila is also a (temporary) home to the Godalming Theatre Foundation, and their Pulp Diction evenings of spoken word, standup, and improv performances play to a full house.
Lynchpin Productions recently moved their Friday evening Scriptease play readings to the studio, bringing a curious mix including Charles Dickens, local playwrights and Mae west to Mila.
In the studio we celebrate life and physical and spiritual well-being 7 days a week, mostly with Yoga, but also in Tai Chi, Chi Kung, Mindfulness and Pilates.
Weekend Workshops in a wide range of practices are a regular feature of the studio offering. For details of these and other events please see the calendar.
Blowing our own trumpet
The biggest rewards for our efforts are comments from happy customers, but we do take pride in the few awards that have come our way:
Best Neighbourhood Coffee Shop in the view of influential blogger and cafe guru Brian Williamson www.brian-coffee-spot.com
Civic Design Award 2012 - Town Centre Enhancement - awarded bi-annually by the Godalming Trust.
Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence winner 2014