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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.

Social Bite opens its first Aberdeen social enterprise café

This news post is almost 9 years old

Sandwich shop chain has expanded the number of its outlets in Scotland to five

The favourite café of many a Glaswegian and Edinburgh resident with a conscience has branched out of the central belt and opened its first outlet in Aberdeen.

Social Bite, which uses its profits to deliver food and job opportunities to homeless people, opened the new cafe on the city’s Union Street after receiving support from the People’s Postcode Lottery.

The business has become a firm player in the coffee and café scene in Glasgow and Edinburgh with customers able to buy a drink or a meal for a homeless person to be given free of charge at a later date.

There’s a definite appetite in the city for great food and awesome coffee, but where the customers can feel good that the money they spend supports those in need

Social Bite founder Josh Littlejohn, who hit the headlines earlier this year by offering a prize of dinner with George Clooney at Social Bite in Edinburgh, said opening in Aberdeen was the next natural step in an expansion plan which aims to spread across the UK.

“We’ve wanted to come to Aberdeen for a long time now as there’s a definite appetite in the city for a different kind of catering, somewhere with great food and awesome coffee, but where the customers can feel good that the money they spend supports those in need,” he said.

“We just needed funding to make our venture a reality and thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery we’ve been able to get up and running.

“We’ve had so much interest from the local community with people wanting to work in the shop and we’re finally ready to roll out the Social Bite concept in the granite city.”

As well as the new café base, Social Bite – whose menus are designed by Michelin Star chef, Mike Mathieson, and a quarter of its staff are formerly homeless – is also be offering its corporate catering arm and has already been awarded contracts for everything from business breakfasts to boardroom lunches from some of the city’s companies.

Littlejohn continued: “We’ve been pushing against an open door with our catering division as Scottish businesses generally want to do good and this is a really easy way to make a difference by switching their catering to a charitable contractor. Most clients say that if we’re as good as their current provider it’s a no-brainer for them to use us, but our goal is always to be better."

Head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, Clara Govier, added: “I’m delighted to see the fifth Social Bite shop open its doors in Aberdeen. Social Bite is a great success story and we are delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are able to play such an important role.”