Charity-run cafe opens at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

  • 1,000s of festival-goers visit bustling new purpose-built café
  • Good quality ingredients and healthy food on offer
  • Yoga-to-weddings flexible community space

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A charity-run social enterprise that ploughs profits back into training and apprentice schemes for people with disabilities opened the first café on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at the weekend. Unity Kitchen Café, which is housed in the newly built Timberlodge at the North end of the partially opened park, saw brisk business from the thousands of visitors to the two-day Open East Festival which ran alongside the Anniversary Games held at the Olympic Stadium.

With an emphasis on good quality ingredients, Unity Kitchen Café offers healthy breakfasts, chilled sandwiches and salads, hot lunches and sweet treats, plus a range of snacks & drinks. The fifteen-strong catering team – which includes six people with disabilities who have come through Unity Kitchen’s training and apprenticeship scheme – had a busy opening weekend keeping festival-goers supplied with snacks, drinks and ice creams as well as offerings from the delicious summer menu.

The café has space for up to 80 indoor diners and another 100 at table seating outside. It also has a flexible 150m² community space which is ideal for schools, community activities and learning and training, corporate meetings, seminars, social get-togethers, celebrations, as well as yoga, dance and health and wellbeing activities. It will also soon be licensed for civil weddings.

Denise Largin, chief executive of Unity Kitchen Café’s parent charity, the Camden Society, says:

“Unity Kitchen Café is a proud addition to the five London outlets we already run. It means we have expanded our offer of top-quality’ locally sourced produce to this fantastic Olympic Park venue. The new café is family-friendly. We’re right next to the Tumbling Bay children’s playground and serve child-friendly food.

“We offer good quality ingredients for all ages too, including healthy breakfasts, chilled sandwiches and salads, hot lunches and sweet treats, plus a range of snacks & drinks.  You can also drop by for weekend brunches or weekday lunches, relax inside the cafe or enjoy drinks on the terrace outside.

“And we have a great flexible community space for everything from community classes, to yoga sessions, to training seminars, business breakfasts, weddings and parties.”

Unity Kitchen is a chain of six catering social enterprises run by a registered charity, The Camden Society. The outlets provide training and apprenticeship opportunities for people with learning disabilities, and profits are used to fund further training and employment opportunities.  Unity Kitchens are run in partnership with community and public sector organisations in public buildings, community centres, libraries and museums. www.unitykitchen.co.uk 

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