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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Coffee with a conscience takes off in Glasgow

This news post is about 9 years old

Ethical sandwich shop chain Social Bite opens its second shop in Glasgow and fourth in Scotland

A pioneering charity which offers food and employment to homeless people opens its second shop in Glasgow today (Wednesday) – aided by £200,000 funding from businessman Sir Tom Hunter’s charitable foundation.

Sandwich shop chain Social Bite offers employment to homeless people and ­donates 100% of its profits to charity.

It also runs a suspended food and drink scheme in which customers purchase food in advance which can later be claimed by a homeless person.

The social enterprise was founded two years ago by Josh Littlejohn and Alice Thompson who initially opened two Social Bite shops in Edinburgh.

Our eyes have been truly opened to what could be achieved through this approach - Sir Tom Hunter

Since opening on St Vincent Street in March, Social Bite's first Glasgow venture has quickly become a success, leading to the launch of the new shop which opens in Glasgow’s Bothwell Street.

The founders stick to the rule the person at the top of the organisation is never allowed to earn higher than seven times that of the lowest paid employee.

The company employs 12 members of staff who have been homeless at one point in their lives.

As part of their employment with the social enterprise they are given help to find accommodation, given an income and support to help them lift themselves out of poverty.

Littlejohn said: "We are really ­excited to open our fourth shop. With this infrastructure and a central kitchen we should be in a position to donate around £4,000 to charity every month.

"Next stop for us is Aberdeen and Dundee."

Sir Tom Hunter said he was impressed by the model as it doesn't compromise on quality or service and is about much more than profit.

"Our eyes have been truly opened to what could be achieved through this approach and we're now looking to make more investments in this area through the foundation," he said.



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