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“I like to think of Mandala as a place to decompress and take a break from it all”

Nestled amongst a bevy of indie traders on Chesterfield Road, this cafe’s warm vibes are irresistible. Owner Adam Heyes told us he’s “just grateful to be doing what I love”.


As winter draws in and the need for warmth and togetherness deepens, inclusive spaces like Mandala become invaluable safe havens. Opened by Adam Heyes this summer, the cafe has quickly embedded itself in the Meersbrook community as a place where you can look forward to smiles, sequins and sweet treats. I chatted to Adam to hear how it’s all been going.

Mandala opened its doors back in the sunny days of summer. How have you been settling into the community since then?

Mandala has been open for four months already and it's buzzing! Meersbrook has welcomed me with open arms and people often comment on the vibe and atmosphere. They’re happy that Chesterfield Road offers a good choice of local shops and small cafe businesses – each different from the next – which is helping the area thrive, and I'm chuffed to be part of it.

For those who are yet to visit, what can people expect when they stroll through your doors?

A safe space, a warm welcome, great coffee, attentive service, chilled music and good vibes. Also amazing breakfast, brunch and lunch options for meat lovers, veggies, vegans and gluten-free fans, an awesome cake selection, friendly banter and we're dog friendly - and so close to Meersbrook Park.


I wanted to create a space that makes people feel like they are in my home, which I think I’ve achieved. It's an unsettled world out there, so I like to think of Mandala as a place to decompress and take a break from it all.

The space hosts a colourful mix of events. What have been your favourites so far?

From the outset, I wanted to offer the space for all sorts of different events. I have a chill landlord too, so there are few limitations to what I am able to do here.

So far, I've hosted regular acoustic gigs, a sold-out Tea & Tarot evening – we will be holding more – and we recently held a social evening exclusively for the lesbian and bisexual ladies of Meersbrook, which was really lovely. A gay man myself, I value diversity and inclusivity, so it's always important to me that people know there are spaces like Mandala where you can feel welcome and safe to be yourselves; to be seen, to meet up with friends, relax and socialise in a space that doesn't have to involve going out to loud clubs and busy bars.

I know from experience that your baked goods are some of the best. What can folks look forward to finding on your counter?

We bake our own cakes fresh on site – big shout out to Carol and Zoe – and we recently started working with YAY! Flapjacks who are a fantastic local bakery based on Abbeydale Road. They offer a wide range of incredible, creative sweet treats, and the best part is they're all vegan and gluten-free, which is important to so many of my customers.


What's on the horizon for Mandala as we approach the festive season and move into the new year?

Given that we're living through such turbulent times right now, I'm just grateful to be doing what I love. Thanks to the kindness and generosity of the lovely people of Meersbrook, Mandala has been doing really well and I don't take that for granted for a single moment.

December will see the cafe open six days a week (closed Wednesdays), all from 8am-4pm, except for Thursday, when we will be open until 8pm. The collective of businesses along Chesterfield Road are working together to promote shopping locally for Christmas – so grab a hot drink from Mandala while checking out the lovely local shops and businesses around me.

by Felicity Jackson (she/her)
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