We want to open a permanent pay-as-you-feel cafe serving food saved from landfill. We need your help to cover the costs for the first year!

by The Magic Hat Cafe in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, England


raised of £20,000 target


38% 17 days left
This project will only be funded if at least £20,000 is pledged by December 8th 2018 at 6:00pm



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.

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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.

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!







This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£5 or more

High Five!

A big high five and a massive thank you from one of the team.

£10 or more

7 of 25 claimed

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!

£12 or more

Famous Forever

Sign your name on the wall of fame in our new cafe premises, or have our resident artist do it for you.

£13 or more

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!

£16 or more

4 of 80 claimed

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!

£20 or more

9 of 100 claimed

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!

£25 or more

10 of 90 claimed

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.

£35 or more

2 of 70 claimed

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. Price includes a sit-down meal afterwards to sample your creations.

£45 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Yoga with friends

An energising and accessible personal yoga session with yoga tutor Richard Shelley for you and up to 4 friends at the custom designed Performance Clinic's yoga studio. All welcome from newcomers to old hats.

£45 or more

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. Includes a high five and your name on our wall of fame. Collect from us and see our new home!

£100 or more

3 of 3 claimed

Lets get to the bottom of this....

Not content with your name on our wall of fame? Get your name beautifully drawn on one of the new toilet seats in our new cafe!

£150 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Limited Edition Print

Signed, limited edition print of a classic Newcastle scene from revered local artist Alan Reed. Beautifully mounted and framed watercolour print, signed by the artist himself. Includes high five and your name on our wall of fame, plus a personal thank you note from the Magic team!

£150 or more

0 of 5 claimed

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. (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)

£150 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Magic Mural

Unique, hand-crafted mural created at our Crowdfunder Launch Party. Wonderful, one of a kind, communally made piece of art created by our incredible supporters and Newcastle community.

£200 or more

0 of 12 claimed

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.

£250 or more

0 of 1 claimed

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. For you and up to 9 friends, delivered in your own home!

£650 or more

0 of 5 claimed

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! (Events more than 20 miles from Newcastle may need to support the travel and/or accomodation costs of the Magic Hat team where necessary)

£1,000 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Super Supporter

Become a super supporter and cut the ribbon at the new cafe! Also includes your name on our wall of fame, a selection of Magic Hat treats, recipe book and a ticket to a special evening event.

£2,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed

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! (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)

£20,000 or more

Food Waste Hero!

Save us some time and pay the whole thing! We wouldn't be able to thank you enough but you'd receive a bunch of Magic Hat goodies, high fives and hugs aplenty, plus your name in big letters on our wall of fame!