Backed by The Mayor of London, Kitchenette Karts is a social enterprise with a mission to help young and unemployed Londoners into fulfilling, happy careers in food. At the moment we’re very fortunate to be able to use borrowed spaces and community halls (as well as our own personal kitchens) to do all our prepping and teaching, but now we’re looking for a home of our own.
The food sector is thriving: over 1.6 million people in the UK work in restaurants, cafes and other food service businesses (Labour Market Statistics (ONS)) and in 2015, the sector contributed over £81bn to the economy (Pitney Bows). There are an abundance of job opportunities in the food industry, but young people from low-income backgrounds often lack the knowledge and network to find secure well-paid work, and the skills or qualifications to obtain it.
Since launching in 2015 we’ve bought, stripped-down and kitted out a 1979 Bedford catering van as a mobile training kitchen for our trainees to gain hands-on experience selling our delicious, sustainable sandwiches. By partnering with local charities, large and small, we’ve built a community around the food we love, working with our network of London’s top street food businesses and restaurants to provide an engaging route into employment and entrepreneurship for London’s young and unemployed.
Now we’re looking for a home where we can scale up our street food trading to become more sustainable and grow our programme to work with more young people each year. Our Test Kitchen will be a hub from which we can teach, train and prepare food with our trainees, with talks and workshops from our mentors, giving our trainees the chance to demo their own ideas, host dinners and tastings, and help us to build a community around the food we love.
We’ve got the plan ready, a space, and all we need now is your support. Help us to create a home for food makers, a hub for our community, and a space for us to train a generation of young chefs that we really believe in.
Jake Slater, Nathalie Moukarzel and Clarice Hilton make up the Kitchenette Karts team. Having worked and traveled as a chef across Europe’s best restaurants, including London’s own Moro and Morito, Nathalie understands better than anyone how kitchens can provide a space for young people to develop, and is understandably delighted by the prospect of no longer catering for large events from her own personal kitchen. Clarice uses her own experience as Programme Manager at Code First: Girls and award-winning street food stall Yum Bun to lead on pastoral mentorship. While Jake combines his passions for working with young people and eating sandwiches, alongside a wealth of project management experience at social enterprises, to head up the team.