A Salisbury independent is opening late on Sunday evening for the community, so people can pop in for support if they have been struggling.

Sonder Coffee, on High Street, will close as usual at 4.30pm on Sunday (December 12), but will open again between 5.30pm and 7pm especially for the event.

Owner Ebony Paz said many people don't realise how others struggle at this time of year.

"I thought it would be nice to do something for others," she said.

"My team will work that day, close up as normal and then some of the team will be venturing in as well.

"There are lots of people who are on their own at this time of year. 

"There will be board games and refreshments so it is not just us staring at each other.

"Many people have said that they are excited for it. It is often people that you do not expect, too. People who are suffering in silence.

"Especially with Covid, people have become more isolated and lonely and Christmas time just adds to it.

"When we live quite a happy life, it is quite easy to forget that, at this time of year."

She adds that many people come to the coffee shop for a chat with the staff, but often there are other customers to serve: "By us closing and taking the service out of it, we can sit down and talk."


The event will be part of Sonder's Acts of Kindness week, where the shop made random acts of kindness such as charity donations and gifting hot drinks.

Sonder opened for the first time in April, after phase two of lockdown ended.

Speaking to the Journal earlier this month, Ebony said: "I never thought it would be this community-based, but our customers have become so important to us and really make Sonder what it is.

"We want to be a real part of the community and give back a bit."

Read more: Sonder Coffee Salisbury granted licence for alcohol and music

The coffee shop's name was inspired by the building, which has large windows that make it "perfect for a sonder".

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows defines "sonder" as "the realisation that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own... in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background".

The dictionary is a book of words describing the emotions we don't yet have the words for.

Sonder Coffee is open from 8am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday, and 8am to 4.30pm on Sunday.

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