Elsie's Caf was months in the planning but eventually debuted at The Looking Glass Theatre in Northampton at the Seedy Saturday event quite romantically, on St. Valentine's Day, 2015. It was a great success as we served members of the general public cakes, light lunches and beverages using ingredients that were all salvaged or intercepted from food retailers that were destined for waste and eventually, landfill.
Elsie's Caf has now found a permanent home at The Lab on Charles Street, who have lovingly embraced our food campaign. As a music venue and bar at night, the Caf can utilise the great facilities on offer at the club during the day, where we have total access to the kitchen, the spare room to use as our storage area for the rescued food and the private function rooms where we hope to run regular meeting groups and classes as our future projects in conjunction with Elsie's.
Our aim here at Elsie's is to provide delicious tasting food made from the ingredients that we have rescued, as we strongly believe that food should be eaten and not wasted. Today in the UK, there is a scandalous amount of food going to waste in the food supply chain. From food that is wasted as it is doesn't meet supermarket's aesthetic standards, to strict food labelling laws meaning perfectly edible food, is being mindlessly discarded at every level of the distribution chain.
To give you some idea about the food we waste in this country, WRAP estimates retail and food distribution in the UK generates 4.3 million tonnes of food waste each year whilst in 2014 alone, close to a million people were regularly using food banks!
In conjunction with The Real Junk FoodProject, here at Elsie's we operate a Pay As You Feel system. If you can pay for the meal, fantastic! It makes us feel that our efforts and more importantly our message, is being heard and understood by you and these donations help with our running costs in the effort to make this project bigger, better and sustainable. If you would rather contribute to the system in a more direct way, we would love you to donate your time and volunteer by helping us out at the Caf and by spreading the word about or food campaign.