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Community cafés and retailing: case studies

Food co-ops and community cafés are a practical way of breaking down barriers to healthy eating, such as accessibility and affordability. Often found in community and health centres, they not only offer healthy, affordable food but provide a social focus as well as skills training. They can fill a gap where a mainstream business won’t survive and any profits are reinvested in the community.

Sycamore Tree Café – evaluating their place in the community

Violetta and Anne from Sycamore Tree Café took part in a small group of community cafés looking at self-evaluation with CFHS. They wanted to gauge how effective the café was as bridge between the church and the community, and whether volunteers and customers felt that they belonged to the café.

Read ‘Sycamore Tree Café – evaluating their place in the community’ here

Open Door Café – evaluating their service to older people

Joanne and Hazel from Open Door Café took part in a small group of community cafés looking at self-evaluation with CFHS. They wanted to find out how well their Sunday Lunch and other activities helped reduce social isolation and whether diners felt a sense of belonging.

Read ‘Open Door Café – evaluating their service to older people’ here

Kate’s Kitchen – evaluating their impact and finding out service users’ views

Anne and Karen from Kate’s Kitchen took part in a small group of community cafés looking at self-evaluation with CFHS. They wanted to find out what difference the ‘pay what you can’ café made to people’s lives and how users thought the gardening service could improve.

Read ‘Kate’s Kitchen – evaluating their impact and finding out service users’ views’ here

Community Food Stop – evaluating outcomes for volunteers

Beverley and Amanda from Community Food Stop took part in a small group of community cafés looking at self-evaluation with CFHS. Recognising that the project couldn’t run without volunteers, they decided to evaluate what people gained from volunteering there and what past volunteers had gone on to do.

Read ‘Community Food Stop – evaluating outcomes for volunteers’ here

North Edinburgh Arts community café – evaluating the volunteer journey

Caroline and Angela from North Edinburgh Arts Café took part in a small group of community cafés looking at self-evaluation with CFHS. They wanted to know what café volunteers gained from their experience there, from achievements to community connectedness.

Read ‘North Edinburgh Arts community café – evaluating the volunteer journey’ here

The Usual Place – catering and hospitality skills for young people

The Usual Place community café was established to provide high-quality, strengths-based training around catering and hospitality for young adults aged 16-26 with additional support needs, with the aim of enabling them to move on to employment. The café is based in the centre of Dumfries.

Read ‘The Usual Place – catering and hospitality skills for young people’ here

East Dunbartonshire Food Co-ops – good quality, low-cost, fresh food

Bike contraption for making smoothies

Sadly East Dunbartonshire Food Co-ops have now closed. The food co-ops in Hillhead and Lennoxtown offered access to good quality, low-cost, fresh fruit and vegetables and to volunteering opportunities, where people can develop new skills and get involved in their community.

Read ‘East Dunbartonshire Food Co-ops – good quality, low-cost, fresh food’ here

Claddach Kirkibost Café – a unique meet-up place in North Uist

White washed community building

Part of the community-led Claddach Kirkibost Centre on the west coast of North Uist, the café offers high quality food and service all year round, together with stunning views and friendly staff. The café is unique in North Uist as a meet-up place for a snack, a meal or just a cup of tea.

Read ‘Claddach Kirkibost Café – a unique meet-up place in North Uist’ here