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.
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!