London is home to some of the best cafes and restaurants in the world and there are a growing number which are tackling key social issues from employing excluded groups to building up strong community ties.
For a map of social enterprise cafe’s and restaurants
Address: 66 Commercial Street, E1 6LT
Monday – Friday 8am – 3pm
Saturday/ Sunday – closed
Impact: Its aim is to help homeless people and ex-offenders get into work by partnering with hospitality businesses around London to teach its trainees everything from cooking to front-of-house management. Since opening in 2004, it’s helped over 250 trainees, taking on 50 a year, and it’s become a model for many other charity-focused restaurants.
Cuisine: It has a menu of daily specials, fresh sandwiches and healthy salads built from seasonal, local and ethically sourced produce.
18 Calvert Avenue, E2 7JP
Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm
Saturday – 9am – 6pm
Sunday – 10am – 5pm
About: An intimate space in Shoreditch and poplar offering you a range of delectable coffee, books, and treats. Paper & Cup are here to provide you with a little hideaway to finish that gripping novel, or just a place to catch up with friends.
Impact: It’s run by the Spitalfields Crypt Trust, a local charity providing support and training to people who have been homeless or suffer from addiction, poverty or social isolation, and each of its baristas is a trainee who’s been rehabilitated through one of the Trust’s programmes.
71-73 Allen Rd, Stoke Newington, London N16 8RY
Monday – Friday: 8:30am–3:30pm
Saturday/ Sunday: 9am–3:30pm
About: Luminary Bakery is a social enterprise bakery, providing London cafes with exceptional baked goods, whilst offering training and employment opportunities to women from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Impact: Luminary Bakery is a social enterprise designed to offer opportunities for women to build a future for themselves. We provide a safe and professional environment where women can grow holistically – encouraging ambition, restoration and second chances. We use baking as a tool to take women on a journey to employability and entrepreneurship, equipping them with transferable skills for the working world.
The Old Fire Station, Town Hall Approach Road, N15 4RX
Tuesday – Thursday: 3.30pm – 10pm
Friday/ Saturday: 12:00 – 10pm
Cuisine: healthy fried chicken
About: All their birds are herb-fed, free-range chickens from Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales – they taste much better than battery-farmed animals. To create the succulent chicken morsels with a crisp coating that everyone loves, they gently steam the meat before marinating it in buttermilk, covering it in a Panko crumb, and flash-frying it in rapeseed oil.
Impact: Chicken Town uses some of the profits they earn from the main menu to make the prices of our Junior Special meals match those at other chicken shops. Apart from serving tasty, healthy food, Chicken Town also offers training and work experience to local people.
Trew Era Cafe
30 Whitmore Road, London, United Kingdom, N1 5QA
Mon – Friday: 8:30 – 16:30
Sat: 10:00 – 16:00
Cuisine: serving breakfast, lunch and coffee
About: Trew Era cafe is an independent social enterprise in Hoxton serving speciality coffee and a simple breakfast and sandwich menu. It is a friendly and supportive environment that offers 6 month paid placements for those in recovery looking to get into the hospitality industry. The project was initiated by Russell Brand in March 2015 before he gave it to Forward Trust.
Impact: A community cafe, employing people in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse
Old Spike Roastery
54 Peckham Rye, London, SE15 4JR,
Tuesday – Friday: 7.30am – 3pm
Saturday/ Sunday: 9.30am – 5pm
About: Old Spike Roastery provide some of the finest, freshly roasted coffee in the UK. They source their specialty beans from all over the world and roast them locally at our site in Peckham.
Impact: the core mission is to provide expert training, jobs and housing support for people experiencing homelessness across the UK
The Brigade,139 Tooley St, SE1 2HZ
Monday – Friday: 7.30 – 11pm
Cuisine: British inspired bistro
About: The Brigade serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as putting together private dining menus for groups of up to 22 people.
Impact: It has a simple ambition: to help people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to gain meaningful employment, which it does by running a series of training programmes which culminate in six-month apprenticeships in The Brigade Kitchen, followed by seven months in another professional kitchen in London.
The House of St Barnabas, 1 Greek Street, Soho Square, London W1D 4NQ.
Monday – Friday: 8am – 1am
Saturday: 12pm – 1am
About: We are the first not-for-profit members’ club run to support homeless people in London into work. We are seeking to redefine the notion of a members’ club, to challenge stereotypes around the idea of exclusivity and to create a different kind of membership. The DNA of the club is energetic, inviting and fuelled by culture, with an eclectic mix of heritage, contemporary art and quite possibly the best soundtrack you’ll ever hear.
Impact: All money raised through member fees supports the running of our Employment Academy, making it a symbiotic relationship. We have been running our Employment Preparation Programmes (EPP) since November 2013.
84b Lamb’s Conduit St, London WC1N 3LR
Monday – Friday: 7:30 – 17:30
Saturday – Sunday: 9:00 – 17:00
About: Our unique roastery is based inside the walls of Aylesbury Prison and is the heart of Redemption Roasters. As well as being our production centre, the roastery is also our raison d’etre. It’s where we transform cohorts of up to ten young offenders at a time into specialty coffee industry professionals. They learn on the job, equipping them with the real skills they need to work in a cafe or roastery on the outside. Located in an old prison staff mess, the facility comprises three distinct zones, each of which form part of our apprentices’ ‘rotation’.
Wednesday – Saturday: 10:00 -17:00
About: Our friendly KindaKafe serves fresh, healthy food with vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. All food is freshly made on the premises with locally sourced products.
We offer a pay it forward scheme, so for a small donation you can help someone in need benefit from a hot drink or meal in our kafe.
We also sell a wide range of gifts, clothes and items for the home sourced from local traders, charities and social enterprises and have our own range of merchandise including ethical garments, notebooks and cards.
Kinda Business Hub
The Kinda Business Hub offers an open plan, sociable co-working space to help new and growing social enterprises network, support one another and share resources. We believe that social entrepreneurs will build a future with a kinder economy. Talk to us today about becoming a Kinda Business Hub member!
We have 3 modern, spacious meeting rooms and a large event space available for hire in our city centre venue on Castle Meadow. We can cater for a wide range of needs, please get in touch to discuss your requirements.
We are a fast moving charity with lots of interesting and inspiring kindness projects on the go at any one time! We couldn’t help spread kindness far and wide without the help of our fantastic team of volunteers! If you are interested in getting involved, please get in touch. We can also offer support to help you make a difference through launching your own kindness mission or social enterprise.
Impact: A registered charity supporting dedicated individuals, empowering them to make their difference to the world and to inspire kindness without boundary.
6 Degrees Coffee
108 London Road, Leicester, United Kingdom
Monday – Friday: 8.30 – 17.30,
Saturday: 9.30 – 16.30 and closed on Sunday.
About: A warm, welcoming and creative environment with delicious food and drink
Impact: all profits go directly to Open Hands Trust in Leicestershire (The Open Hands Trust works with disadvantaged people and families, who come from varied backgrounds including alcohol and drug addictions, domestic violence, homeless men and women, asylum seekers, refugees and prostitutes)