Social Bite have had to more or less close their city centre cafés, in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, limiting how much they can make from the sale of sandwiches and coffees.
Looking for an alternative, they are now starting to sell Boxes of Joy by mail order. Gluten free and vegan options are also available in flavours including strawberry, chocolate orange, triple chocolate and salted caramel.
They hope this new product – which is a selection of brownies in a box – will help them grow their social enterprise and help the people they employ as well as those they try to assist, all of whom have been affected by homelessness. Around a third of the Livingston based kitchen will be involved in producing and packing the brownies.
100% of the proceeds go to Social Bite to try and end homelessness. With corporate customers like Microsoft and Deloittes on board it may not be long before they exceed their target of 200 boxes a day. Since everyone is working from home some big companies are showing the love by sending a wee Box of Joy to their employees.
A box of four retails for £12 and a box of nine for £17.99. With the brownies you will also get a little Social Bite leaflet telling you about their work with food and homeless people. While there will not be a Big Sleep Out this year (there was never one planned anyway for 2020) the work goes on in the kitchen and at the Social Bite Village. Click here to buy.
Listen to our interview with Josh Littlejohn MBE co-founder of Social Bite here:
Josh (who may be a little biased) says the brownies are great, and he is not even a mad chocolate fan. They were trialled earlier this year and he is sure these are a quality product. He told us how it all came about. He said:”Social Bite have been affected by the pandemic. We have more or less closed to the public in the cities and our big corporate catering service has had to stop too.
“We have come up with this absolutely beautiful chocolate brownie product which is made in our central kitchen and posted out to people who order them for themselves or as a gift. Businesses can order them for their employees. Normally I am not too much of a chocolate person but these are absolutely delicious. My job is to sell them, but they really are the nicest tasting chocolate brownies I have ever had.
“One of the really special things about the product is that they are made in Livingston where we have a big kitchen. This is the hub of our activity. Like most businesses we have been trying to minimise redundancies, and it is even more important for us as about a third of our workforce have struggled with homelessness themselves. That kitchen is the beating heart of that social enterprise activity, and where a lot of these guys get their first opportunity at employment. The brownies have been lovingly made by our Head Chef and his team.By buying the brownies you not only get a delicious treat but you also help these guys remain on a better path, particularly at this difficult time for the world.
“When the pandemic hit all of our cafés closed and our traditional business ceased to trade. What we decided to do was repurpose our five cafes and kitchen to provide free food for vulnerable people. There was a real sense that food poverty was going to be one of the biggest issues facing society and that people would be tipped over the poverty line. We have been producing food packs, which are basically packed lunches with sandwiches, crisps, juice and snacks. The food packs have literally been a life saver for many families.We teamed up with lots of small grassroots charities in Scotland to get these into the hands of the people who needed them. This ramped up quickly and now we have distributed over half a million food packs. That has been our focus and we are still doing that every day but we want to introduce some trading too so that’s why we are releasing the brownies.”
Social Bite were funded by The Scottish Government and members of the public who have contributed on their JustGiving page to provide all the free food packs.
- Whether given as a gift or bought as a treat, customers will be doing good with every purchase of Social Bite’s “Boxes of Joy” brownies as 100% of the proceeds will be going towards the organisation’s efforts to end homelessness in Scotland
- As a social enterprise business, Social Bite exists to achieve social objectives and is driven by a cause, rather than profit. It is hoped that the new food delivery service will help to sustain its enterprise model and support more people into jobs to help break the cycle of homelessness
- One in three members of Social Bite staff have experienced homelessness as an extreme barrier to employment
- Social Bite was launched by Josh Littlejohn and Alice Thompson and runs a chain of five social enterprise cafes in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, a Social Bite Delivery business which employs and supports people affected by homelessness, as well as Vesta Bar & Kitchen in Edinburgh