On Tuesday 15th March, BaxterStorey opened the doors to its first London-based social enterprise café in partnership with Coutts and Social Bite, a charity fighting to end homelessness in the UK.
With five Social Bite coffee shops already running across Scotland, the new London café situated within the hustle and bustle of the Strand near Covent Garden will offer full time employment to people from the homeless community.
A VIP launch saw local businesses, charities and celebrities including Scottish actor, Martin Compston and singer, Matt Willis, join CEO of Coutts, Peter Flavel and Social Bite founder Josh Littlejohn to show their support in the opening of the café.
Josh said: “We are delighted to be able to launch a new coffee shop in central London, with the help of BaxterStorey and Coutts. It’s such an incredible milestone for us all here at Social Bite”.
Alastair Storey, BaxterStorey chairman, added: “It’s been a challenging time for the hospitality industry and as a result, there are a lot of job opportunities, so if we can help, encourage, and guide people into jobs to give them that start in life, then that’s invaluable. We are over the moon to be working alongside Social Bite and are very proud to be associated with such an incredible charity”.
The café features an all-day grazing menu with a selection of freshly made paninis, salads, and sandwiches and baked goods, with customers enjoying B Corp certified coffee. There will be a ‘pay it forward’ scheme, for customers to buy an additional meal or hot drink in advance for someone who is homeless to redeem later.
Originally starting life as a sandwich shop in Edinburgh’s city centre, Social Bite has since become the largest food distributor of free food to homeless people in the UK, having donated more than 800,000 food packs during the pandemic alone.
Image credit: BaxterStorey