A NEW Scots café has opened with the intention of feeding Glasgow’s kids with free after-school meals.
The brand new lunch spot has opened its doorways within the coronary heart of Glasgow’s worldwide monetary companies district, with each espresso or sandwich buy serving to in the direction of free after-school meals for hungry main faculty kids.
Launch Café is situated at 99 Bothwell Road and can open from 8am–4pm, Monday–Friday, serving a variety of sizzling drinks, snacks, sandwiches, wraps, salads and different refreshments.
Merely shopping for one espresso will present a sizzling meal, bottled water and fruit for a kid within the metropolis.
The social enterprise is the newest enterprise from Craig Johnson, who began Launch Meals in 2018 to divert surplus meals from a few of Scotland’s largest foods and drinks corporations to feed kids in want of nutritious meals exterior of faculty hours.
The charity has to this point offered greater than 1 / 4 of 1,000,000 free meals to kids within the metropolis, with the brand new café set to spice up these numbers within the months forward.
Forward of the opening, Launch Meals obtained a £40,000 funding increase from Social Funding Scotland.
This funding bought important catering gear similar to espresso machines and help the recruitment of a brand new workforce.
Launch Meals have been additionally helped by HFD Group and different companions to suit out the café and get the area able to welcome its first clients.
Craig Johnson stated: “This retail unit was secured simply previous to the pandemic, which was unfortunate timing however our landlord has been nothing however supportive.
“It’s nice to lastly have the doorways open and our first cups of espresso bought.
“It’s a unbelievable location within the coronary heart of Glasgow’s enterprise district and I believed it could be a terrific place to catch the morning commuter rush, workplace employees on their lunch breaks, and even the employees on the assorted development websites close by.
“We promise to care for our clients by offering nice espresso, nice meals and served with a real smile.
“I would like individuals to know that each time they purchase from Launch Espresso they’re additionally serving to to make an influence on the lives of native individuals.
“Making the café a hit will permit our free meals service to proceed.
Johnson continued: “In the intervening time, we’re making and serving about 300 meals per day, however with the price of dwelling going up, there’s solely going to be extra households needing our help.”
“A variety of beneficiant people have already stepped as much as assist get the café able to open and have gone past expectations to do what they’ll to help me.
“That kindness goes a great distance and I’ll all the time be pleased about the assistance.
“It may be fairly a lonely journey as a social entrepreneur and it’s nice to have the ability to share my ‘why’ with individuals who I come into contact with – significantly our new clients.”
Chris Jamieson, head of investments at Social Funding Scotland, stated: “Via Launch Meals Craig has been making a huge impact in lots of Glasgow communities the place households are struggling and kids sadly go hungry.
“Till now, Launch has relied on grants, donations and volunteers however the brand new café represents an essential alternative to generate extra earnings and, in flip, ship an excellent greater influence for many who want it most.”
The fit-out of the café was largely accomplished by tradespeople concerned within the development of neighbouring 177 Bothwell Road, who supplied their abilities, time and supplies to assist deliver the unit to life.
Bringing vital footfall to the world, occupiers of what’s set to be Glasgow’s largest workplace constructing embrace Virgin Cash, BNP Paribas, AECOM, CBRE, Transport Scotland and HFD Group, the builders of the constructing.
Stephen Lewis, managing director of HFD Property Group, added: “We had been linked with Craig and Launch Meals for a while by way of the HFD Charitable Basis.
“However, as quickly as we realised that the brand new café can be opening on the identical road as our flagship improvement, we knew there can be extra we may provide by way of sensible help.
“We’re so happy to see the café up and operating in time for the brand new occupiers transferring into 177 Bothwell Road, together with HFD itself, and we will probably be encouraging employees to go to as a lot as they’ll to get behind such a unbelievable trigger.”