london businesses that give back
London is full of brands and businesses that we love because they’ve got their products and services nailed. Then there are some that go the extra mile by giving back, whether that’s through donating profits to charity or helping people into employment with ex-offender training. These are our fave foodie social enterprises in London that are out there doing good…
Jamie Oliver’s first restaurant Fifteen is still going strong, having trained countless chefs, since it opened in 2002. Fifteen’s apprentice programme recruits unemployed young people aged between 18 and 25 each year and the restaurant’s profits all go back into the this programme too, so when you eat here you get a fab meal and you do good.
15 Westland Place, London, N1 7LP
Brigade Bar + Kitchen
Through their partnership with Beyond Food Foundation, Brigade Bar + Kitchen, which serves up classic British grub, helps bring those who have experienced homelessness into the hospitality industry by offering training and career support. The money you spend eating at the restaurant goes straight back into working with more apprentices.
139 Tooley Street, London SE1 2HZ
Run by Alex Head, Social Pantry is an events and catering company that’s worked with the likes of Alexander McQueen, H&M, Adidas, Harvey Nichols, Rihanna and Gigi Hadid. Food-wise, there’s a focus on fresh, seasonal grub and root-to-stem cookery and in terms of personnel, over 10% of the workforce are ex-offenders. Social Pantry also supports Key4Life, a charity that tackles the root cause of re-offen
Luminary Bakery isn’t just our local bakery, but one of our favourites in London… and not just because they make some of the best cinnamon swirls we’ve ever had! The bakery is a social enterprise designed to offer opportunities for women from an economic and social disadvantage to build a future for themselves. Encouraging ambition, restoration and second chances, they use baking as a tool to take women on a journey to employability and entrepreneurship.
71-73 Allen Road, London N16 8RY
Second Shot Coffee
Second Shot is all about ‘bringing people together by tackling homelessness one espresso at a time’. The coffee shop founded by Julius Ibrahim, employs people affected by homelessness, helping them with training and moving further on the workplace as well as running a pay-it-forward system, so you can pre-pay for an extra drink or snack when you buy your own brew, ensuring that someone on the street can get something to eat or drink for free.
475 Bethnal Green Rd, London E2 9QH
The Clink Restaurant at HMP Brixton
This restaurant, actually inside Brixton prison, is staffed by prisoners who are working towards qualifications in food prep and customer service, so they’re able to find employment in the hospitality on their release. By eating at The Clink you help to challenge the public perception of prisoners as well as getting a slap up three course meal.
Her Majesty’s Prison Brixton, Jebb Avenue, London, SW2 5XF
Run by Tower Project, Haggerston Perk works an internship cafe supporting young east Londoners with learning disabilities. People are trained up in the cafe, which serves Climpsons coffee, pastries and cakes, so they can transition onto paid employment.
Goldsmiths Row, London E2 8QE
Cafe From Crisis
Café From Crisis has been working to combat homelessness for 15 years through hospitality and catering training. Staff members are trained to gain qualifications as well as increase their confidence on their journey out of homelessness. And it’s a double whammy because the food and coffee the cafe serves is also socially conscious – they work with The Dusty Knuckle, Fareshare, Dalstons and Volcano Coffee Works .
64 Commercial St, London E1 6LT
Darjeeling Express takes inspiration from founder Asma’s royal Indian ancestry and growing up in the Bengali streets of Calcutta. This results in a menu that infuses authentic street food with royal recipes, and it’s cooked up by an all-woman team of of housewives who the kitchen. Asma also donates a portion of the restaurant’s profits to her Second Daughters Fund, which sends celebration packages and offers support through education for second daughters (who are disadvantaged as boys are preferred over girls) in Kurseong, Darjeeling.
Top Floor, Kingly Court, London W1B 5PW
Trew Era Cafe
Opened by Russell Brand, the veggie and vegan Trew Era Cafe was funded by the profits from his book Revolution and staffed by former drug addicts who were in recovery. Brand donated the cafe to Rapt (now The Forward Trust) who continue to support those ex-offenders and recovering addicts.
34 Whitmore Rd, London N1 5QA