The food scene in Edinburgh is varied, innovative and more than ever, food with a social conscience has a real presence. We have picked out a few of our favourite cafes, suppliers and producers that do more than just tickle your tastebuds.
If you haven’t heard of Social Bite, where have you been? With a visit from Gorgeous George (Clooney!) himself, this lunchtime cafe is doing so much more than producing delicious soups and sandwiches.
With two cafes in Edinburgh, two in Glasgow and one in Aberdeen, this small social business prides itself on producing handmade food, using fresh, healthy and local produce, daily. 100% of their profits are given to good causes, and 1 in 4 of their team are formerly homeless people.
The cafe also feed the local homeless community through a ‘Suspended Coffee and Food’ initiative, which you can donate to here. They have recently launched a loyalty card, which entitles the customer to a half price hot drink or meal after 5 visits, and a free meal and hot drink for a homeless person after ten visits.
This Stockbridge social enterprise restaurant serves up mouth-watering food while donating all profits to the ‘Cooking Up a Storm‘ initiative.
As well as offering workplace and job training for those who need an extra hand, the initiative is running cookery classes for single parent families and classes for those diagnosed with food-related health conditions or allergies. Colin Hinds, owner of The Kilted Lobster is also running a ‘meal bank’ that gives people facing financial hardship a chance to enjoy a nutritious, balanced and hearty meal.
“I come from quite a poor background myself. I remember growing up on the outside of Glasgow lots of people not having any money. When I was growing up, if you went to a restaurant it had to be an extremely special occasion.
“I know people can go to food banks and pick up ambient foods and thought ‘you know what would be really nice? I think it would be nice for people coming to a restaurant with their family having a really nice tasty meal and you don’t have to do the dishes. There’s no stigma attached to that, it’s a really nice thing to do.”
– Owner, The Kilted Lobster, Colin Hinds
If you, or anyone you know, would benefit from any of the projects run by The Kilted Lobster, please get in touch at email@example.com, like them on Facebook or Twitter or give them a call on 0131 220 6677.
Another wonderful enterprise that has recently had visitors of note is the delightful Breadshare Community Bakery in Seafield. HRH the Duchess of Rothesay visited the bakery in June of this year.
Breadshare is a non-profit social enterprise, in other words, everything they make goes back into the community. As well as producing organic and nutritious (additive free) bread, the bakery offers people a chance to learn and practice baking skills, as well as offering volunteering and membership opportunities to increase engagement with the local community.
Listen to ‘Bread for Scotland’ on BBC 4.
Owner, Geoff Crowe, believes that community bakeries lie at the heart of making good bread – and they certainly do that, baking over thousands of loaves a day.
As Christmas approaches, Breadshare will be running a family Gingerbread workshop, a chocolate workshop with Raw Wild and a sourdough bread workshop. Find out more about these upcoming courses and the wonderful bread produced on their website, Twitter or Facebook.
We are so delighted to be able to feature these wonderfully socially conscious foodie havens, but there are many more out there – and we would love to hear all about them.