Welcome to the Magic Hat Café Crowdfunder page! We are a team of people who are passionate about abolishing food waste worldwide, starting right here in Newcastle. We are really close to having our permanent home but we need your help to make it happen.
We are part of ‘The Real Junk Food Project’ - a network of food waste cafes which operate on a pay-as-you-feel basis. Customers decide the value of the meal they’re served and we welcome contributions of skills, time or even just spreading the word as payment.
The Magic Hat Café has been running pop-up events and catering in Newcastle for more than 3 years but we're now ready to get our own venue to expand and increase our impact, to feed more people and save even more food from being wasted.
We engage with local shops, restaurants, supermarkets, farms and other businesses to intercept their surplus food that is still perfectly good to eat and that would otherwise end up in the bin. Instead, our passionate group of volunteers turn that intercepted food into tasty, nutritious meals for the community. We also run a pay-as-you-feel market where people can shop for fresh produce to take home.
It’s not just about feeding people – by turning this would-be waste into delicious, filling meals we’re showing that this food has value. Over a third of the world's food supply is currently wasted, which means a waste of all the land, water, emissions and human resources required to produce, store and transport that food. We think we need to make big changes to our food system, starting locally with how we think about food. We aim to raise awareness and get people thinking about food waste as well as enjoying eating with others from their local community.
Even though our ingredients may vary depending on availability, we always have options for everyone (including vegan, vegetarian and gluten free). Our team of volunteers is diverse; we have people from a wide range of ages, backgrounds and nationalities. As well as tackling food waste, volunteers enjoy the chance to meet new people, learn new skills, gain valuable work experience and give back to their community. Our cafe brings people together from all corners of our community and customers get to meet, eat and shop with others from all walks of life. Customers also have the opportunity to attend free cooking workshops and learn more about reducing food waste at home.
Whilst we’ve always enjoyed our pop-up events and have managed to save a great deal of food and feed many mouths over these past few years – our dream has always been of a permanent base, a kitchen to call our own!
Since our inception the Magic Hat Cafe has:
- Hosted 37 pop-up cafes and events
- Rescued 10,500 kg of edible food from landfill
- Served 4450 meals to the community
But with a permanent kitchen, café and storage space all in one place we will be able to intercept much more food from landfill with regular collections, feed even more people on a regular, reliable basis and expand our pay-as-you-feel market. We'll be able to spend less time transporting food and equipment and setting up and clearing down each venue. Instead, we'll have more time to spend on saving, cooking and serving food, as well as outreach work to raise more awareness about food waste.
Importantly to us, with our own place we'll be able to provide a consistent service and we’ll no longer be dependent on the internet to promote our events, making our café even more inclusive.
Since our formation we’ve always tried to vary the locations of our pop-up cafes to reach as many people as possible and make our events accessible to everyone, but this isn’t always easy when borrowing spaces. For all of us at the Magic Hat Café inclusivity and accessibility are essential to any place of our own. We want our café to be accessible to all – a place where everyone feels welcome and at home.
Finally we want our café to be a fun, creative space – somewhere we can have events, collaborations and residencies, where we can support other community projects, have fun and create real change.
We are a totally not-for-profit organisation and we need your help to make our vision of a centrally based community café become a reality. We're seasoned upcyclers and we'll be minimising the costs, and the waste, by making and mending as much as possible for our new cafe (consider that a standard commercial kitchen fit out usually costs in the region of £150,000 - £200,000!) We have already proven that a food waste cafe is sustainable and are ready to start running permanently, but we need enough money to guarantee our running costs for the first year in order to take out a lease.
The funds raised will be used to:
- Guarantee the rent of our new space for one year
- Fit and/or repair a commercial kitchen and replace some equipment
- Decorate our community cafe
- Run our Magic Hat van for one year
The Magic Hat Cafe has its own savings raised from our events, which we’ll be contributing - however, we need to find the rest by turning to you good people! We have some brilliant gifts as a thank you for your support, please check them out below!
We have also entered the Aviva Community fund, and we need your votes to make it into the final. Voting is open until 20th November. Please click here to vote.
Please support us to help raise awareness on food waste in our city, feed more mouths, improve Newcastle’s environmental footprint and bring together more amazing people. Help us build the next phase of our amazing project and become part of the Magic Hat family!
Please make a donation, spread the word and make this happen!
Here are some more details of the amazing rewards which you can get by pledging to support our project.
- High Five!
A big high five and a massive thank you from one of the team, come into the cafe to collect!
- Totes Amazing
A limited edition cotton tote bag, hand stamped with our Magic Hat logo. True to our ideals these tote bags have been donated and upcycled to save them from being wasted. Collect from us and see our new home!
- Famous Forever
Sign your name on the wall of fame in our new cafe premises, or have our resident artist do it for you.
- Tasty Treats
A delicious, edible gift made from food that would otherwise have been wasted. Think jams, chutneys, crisp breads and the like. Collect from us and see our new home!
- Team T-Shirt
Look your best and show your support by wearing this limited edition t-shirt with the Magic Hat logo. Made from recycled plastic bottles and the off-cuts from the production of organic cotton t-shirts ensuring nothing goes to waste. Includes high five and your name on our wall of fame. Collect from us and see our new home!
- Awesome Art
A beautiful, limited edition, food-themed print from our resident artist. Featuring one of our favourite tips to help you fight food waste. Includes high five and your name on our wall of fame. Collect from us and see our new home!
- Come dine with us
A ticket to your choice of special evening events we are planning for our new premises, including live music, tasting events, gourmet dining...that sort of thing. Could be for yourself, as a gift to a loved one or pay it forward for someone less fortunate to enjoy an evening out.
- Food Waste Workshop
Learn the art of minimising waste and transforming your leftovers into delicious, nutritious meals which still impress your guests. Hands on cooking workshop with our experienced team. Suitable for all ages and abilities. Price includes a sit-down meal afterwards to sample your creations.
- Magic Cookbook
A collection of our favourite recipes from over the years, packed full of great ideas, tips and tricks for fighting food waste in your own home. Illustrated by our resident artist. Includes a high five and your name on our wall of fame. Collect from us and see our new home!
- Magic Supper Club
Host a dinner party where you get to relax with your guests! The incredible Magic Hat team will come to your home and cook a fabulous, food waste feast for up to 10 people. Contact us for more info and to check which dates we have available! (Supper clubs more than 20 miles from Newcastle may need to support the travel and/or accomodation costs of the Magic Hat team where necessary)
- Display your work
Calling all artists: Make our cafe your gallery - display your artwork for 1 month in the new premises. Please note it must be suitable for an audience of all ages and backgrounds, with suitability up to the discretion of the team, but we're pretty open minded.
- Cocktail Evening with the Ugly Duckling
Learn the art of cocktail making at this unique workshop with our experienced, talented and waste-fighting friends, the Ugly Duckling. Complete with delicious syrups and cold pressed juices made from fruit saved from landfill. This is a unique event for you and up to 9 friends, delivered in your own home!
Perfect for a special occasion, a great gift or just a treat for you and your pals, Ugly Duckling's experienced cocktail masters will show the art of making perfect cocktails using homemade syrups and surplus or foraged ingredients! Contact us for more info and to check dates!
- Party People
Let us cater your next event for up to 50 people. Whatever your event, whether it's a birthday, BBQ, buffet or christmas meal, expect a delicious eco-friendly spread that's guaranteed to wow your guests! Our ethical catering is professional, unique and creative, plus all profits go towards a good cause! Our flexible and resourceful team has years of catering experience for all kinds of events and can cater for all tastes and dietary requirements. We'll put on a spread to impress using only food which has been diverted from landfill, with delicious, innovative and eco-friendly dishes to suit you!
Contact us for more info or to check dates! (Events more than 20 miles from Newcastle may need to support the travel and/or accomodation costs of the Magic Hat team where necessary)
- Extraordinary Event
Make your next big event extra special with a delicious, eco-friendly feast provided by our Magic team. We'll cater your event for up to 200 people. Whether it's a wedding, birthday, retirement party or other event, we'll put on a spread to impress! Looking for something different for your event? Try our ethical catering - professional, unique, and creative catering and all profits go towards a good cause!
Our team has years of catering experience for all kinds of events, including weddings. We'll put on a spread to impress using only food which has been diverted from landfill! Delicious, innovative and eco-friendly dishes and our flexible and resourceful team can cater for all tastes and dietary requirements.
Unsure about having a "waste" food wedding? Hear from one of our happy customers:
"We had a large wedding in a wood with no vehicle access, so the team had to build the kitchen and overcome difficult logistical issues within a narrow window of time. They were able to produce food which was delicious, inventive and environmentally friendly and they did it all with a positive and professional attitude. The guests at our wedding loved the food and people still comment now on how much they enjoyed it!"
Contact us for more info or to check dates! (Events more than 20 miles from Newcastle may need to support the travel and/or accomodation costs of the Magic Hat team where necessary. Larger numbers may be catered for but may incur other charges)
Any questions about any of our rewards? Don't hesitate to contact us! Email [email protected] or message us on facebook (facebook.com/themagichatcafe)