THE UK’s first social enterprise bar group has opened its second venture in Edinburgh – with hopes high that it can serve up a success.
Beer for Good CIC, which opened Harry’s Café at Drumbrae in October 2016, has now joined forces with Edinburgh Leisure’s Craiglockhart Tennis Centre to open a new café, Harry’s Courtyard Café – their second venture with Edinburgh Leisure.
The business model uses food provided by Beer for Good’s central kitchen which gives vocational training to young adults and to community initiatives, who are looking to give people an opportunity to get into the workplace.
Staff at the café will be entered into a training programme with access to certified courses spanning both hospitality and non-hospitality specific professional skills.
They also use other social enterprise companies such as Down’s Syndrome Scotland, School of Hard Knocks and the Jet Programme, as well as ethical and sustainable products wherever they can.
Among the other suppliers involved are Freedom Bakery Bread, a social enterprise bread company which helps to rehabilitate ex-offenders and Karma Cola Range, which donates profits back to the Sierra Leone farming community.
All materials, including straws and coffee cups, are made for them by Vegware and are fully compostable, reducing their effect on the environment.
Kirsty Stobie, manager at Craiglockhart Tennis Centre said it was hoped that the new hub would become a focal point for the area.
She added: “With very few other places in the area where people can go to meet for a coffee and a snack, we hope the new Harry’s Courtyard Café will become a hub of the community, a place where people can enjoy some healthy refreshments after using the tennis, squash, gym and fitness facilities at Craiglockhart.
“As the weather gets warmer hopefully, the Courtyard garden will also be in use, providing a new experience for Craiglockhart members and the community.
“The food is fresh and has a focus on health and well-being, specialising in soups, sandwiches, salads, baked goods and great teas and coffees.”
The opening comes after the community interest company also secured the backing of brewers Tennent’s earlier this year to buy and refurbish the former Southside Social, now Harry’s Southside. So far they say they have delivered more than 130 vocational qualifications to trainees on its books.
Chris Thewlis, director of Beer for Good, said: “This will hopefully offer not only a great new offering for Craiglockhart Leisure Centre but will also help us to provide more exciting opportunities for people from the local community to benefit from our social aims and objectives.”