Foodism Magazine, my absolute favourites, recently featured my lovely little cafe in print which highlights the charity work myself and Social Pantry do with a few very special local social enterprises.
Since the very beginning of Social Pantry, I have always actively looked for ways to help fantastic causes and ensured that this is engrained in my company culture. A few years ago, my company was still relatively small and being “green” for a business of that size is unachievable and very costly. As much as I would love for us to operate like that, it just wasn’t and still isn’t realistic. Of course, the cafe and catering both do their bit with packaging and recycling – Social Pantry Cafe has some brilliant initiatives including a 10% discount for customers who bring their own lunchbox in to fill and our old coffee bean grains are used by a lovely local to feed her worms.
Instead of going “green”, I went about looking at other ways I could help and give something back to society. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to be given an abundance of second chances and opportunities which helped me get to where I am now. In London, this just isn’t the case for some people living here. That’s where my story with Key4Life started… offering employment and opportunities to others less fortunate is so incredibly rewarding and we are continuing to grow our relationship with this brilliant charity. I currently have two full-time employees working in Social Pantry’s production kitchen, offer regular 3-day work tasters for ex-offenders to learn key skills in the hospitality industry and on a personal note, I mentor a brilliant young man called Reuban who’s currently working at Gaucho. As well as Key4Life, I also work closely with Brixton Prison offering full-time kitchen chef roles to offenders on ROTL (released on temporary license) and Bad Boys Bakery who supply the BEST brownies to my cafe.
It’s brilliant to see Londoners are noticing what I’m doing and Social Pantry’s approach to being a sustainable business. In short, I look for charities who naturally connect with the values of my business – passionate, entrepreneurial and responsible. I’m so proud to be very socially aware and have worked extremely hard to build and maintain these relationships.
BIG THANKS FOODISM!