Social Justice

Social Bite serves up a solution to homelessness with new flagship café

The new outlet in Glasgow will train and employ people with experience of homelessness

The new Social Bite cafe has opened on Glasgow's busiest shopping street. Image: Social Bite

There’s a new coffee spot in Glasgow that makes sure you definitely get change with your purchase.

Social Bite is a social enterprise that helps people experiencing homelessness by offering training and employment. Their newest café opened on 27 April in Buchanan Galleries on the city’s busy Sauchiehall Street

Josh Littlejohn MBE, co-founder and executive director of Social Bite said: “We are thrilled to open our new flagship coffee shop in the heart of Glasgow.

“I really see this venture as the new blueprint for our social enterprise business model offering the best-in-class food, coffee and environment for our customers to enjoy, whilst also making a massive difference to people in a situation of homelessness  in the city.”

Since starting as a small sandwich shop in Edinburgh in 2012, Social Bite has become one of the best-known names tackling homelessness in Scotland and beyond. They have hit the headlines in the past hosting fundraising sleep-outs that thousands took part in, as well as welcoming royalty and Hollywood stars like George Clooney through their doors.

All employees in the new café will be trained at the Matthew Algie Coffee School to ensure they produce the perfect blend. And confirmed it tastes extra special when we went along to visit.

The atmosphere of the café is very inclusive and welcoming. The food and pastries looked amazing so I had to try one.

I then ‘paid it forward’, which is a scheme where you can purchase a drink for someone experiencing homelessness.

When you do so, staff give you  a small card to write your name and a note. There is a section of the café where they place these name cards and notes up. The stand was already filled with so many names of people who have paid it forward. It’s £3 for a hot drink £5 for a meal and £10 for two meals.

Social Bite is one of the largest providers of free freshly prepared food to people experiencing homeless in the UK, and the Glasgow outlet will offer people in need a free hot drink and meal at various times throughout the day and alongside paying customers.

They have clearly taken a lot of time to put together the menu. There’s a selection of books available for all ages, it’s perfectly suited for Glaswegians to come by and enjoy a brilliant coffee and some sweet treats. There’s no better way to enjoy a coffee with a pastry in your hand and knowing your helping others with the favour.

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