FoodWorks Coffee Cart – Celebrating a year of making things better

FoodWorks staff celebrating the one year birthday
FoodWorks staff celebrating the one year birthday

The FoodWorks Coffee Cart, part of Newcastle City Council’s Supported Employment Service, is celebrating a successful first year of trading

The pro-social coffee cart has been a huge success since launching in the reception of Newcastle’s Civic Centre and has served over 25,000 customers fresh coffee and tasty food in its first twelve months.

FoodWorks is a catering enterprise, part of the council’s Supported Employment Service, which provides work experience, training and paid work for people who need support to access employment.

The success of the first coffee cart has led to two more opening – at Allendale House and Your Homes Newcastle – and the rebranding of the former Capability’s coffee shop in Heaton. 

The cart at the Civic Centre created three new jobs, and seven further opportunities were created when the two new carts opened.

FoodWorks is passionate about working with local providers to source tasty, ethically produced food and drink, including Rington’s who provide the coffee and the Geordie Bakers who provide the bread for the handmade sandwiches. 

FoodWorks also works closely with partners such as Crisis, the homelessness charity and Food Newcastle to support a city-wide movement tackling food poverty and waste.

To mark its one-year anniversary the Civic Centre reception was decorated with colourful bunting, balloons and signs – with handmade mini birthday cakes on offer for customers. The Civic Centre piano also returned to reception and Paul, one of the staff from the Coffee Cart, tickled the ivories and performed songs including Happy Birthday and a World Cup themed “Three Lions”. 

Councillor Karen Kilgour, who marked the opening of the cart in July 2017, enjoyed the anniversary celebrations and said:

“I would like to say a huge well done and congratulations to all the staff who have helped to develop FoodWorks over its first 12 months of trading.

“It is a fantastic example of the council working with people across the city who need additional help and support finding and keeping employment. The skills and confidence of the coffee cart staff are clear to see, and it’s wonderful to see how this initiative is having a real impact on people’s lives.

“I am looking forward to supporting FoodWorks’ continued growth and am pleased to see the carts open at Allendale and Your Homes Newcastle.

“Finally, I would like to thank the partners who have worked closely with us on developing and maintaining the cart and the staff who run the cart every day, they are a dedicated, friendly and passionate team and always put a smile on customers’ faces”.

The Civic Centre Coffee Cart is open Monday – Friday 8am – 2pm, serving fresh barista coffee, chilled drinks and handmade sandwiches and cakes as well as seasonal salads.

 It is open to members of the public as well as staff and visitors of the Civic Centre.

All profits from the cart go back into the Supported Employment Service to help to continue providing support into employment for people across the city.

FoodWorks recently launched their own website - www.wemakethingsbetter.co.uk which has further information on the project, the cart locations and partners.

Newcastle City Council are keen to work with other organisations who may benefit from having a FoodWorks Cart in their building, either for staff or the public. The process is simple and further information can be found on the FoodWorks website.