Community food hub The Larder is opening a café in what was Ham and Jam on Lancaster Road.Advertisement
The Larder café, which opens on Friday 22 February, will be used to share the food hub’s message about healthy, local, seasonal and waste-free food.
Founder of The Larder, Kay Johnson, said: “We’ve been discussing opening a café space for a lot of years. We wanted it to be long-term and sustainable so we’ve spent the past 12 months getting funding organised and finding the right location.
“Now we’re opening, we want The Larder café to be an experience for our customers, not just a place to eat.
“When people come in they will experience sustainable food that is ethically and locally sourced. We can trace where all our ingredients come from, so if people want to know more about what they’re eating we can provide the information.
“We want to help people understand what sustainability means and why it’s important. We’ll highlight issues around food waste and food poverty, and provide a place for like-minded people to meet.”
All food served at The Larder will be cooked from scratch and made on site, except the bread, which will be sourced from a baker in Much Hoole.
Kay said: “We’ll start simply with the menu and build from there. We want to get local producers in, do tasters, and see what people prefer. Our customers will be able to choose what they like best and it will go on the menu.
“We’ll cater for different dietary requirements but keep everything inclusive, so for instance we’ll always have a vegan option but we’ll call it ‘meat and dairy free’. Food will also be seasonal so salads at this time of year will feature things like beetroot and carrot but no tomatoes.
“Once we’ve found our feet we’ll be looking to do pre-theatre meals.”
The café will also be a venue for talks, events and training. An International Women’s Day event organised by Preston Labour Party and UCLan is taking place on Friday 8 March, and a Middle Eastern-themed night is also in the works.
Accredited catering courses will be available, and there are plans for work experience to be offered at the café and with other local businesses.
Read more: Shankly Hotel still on track for a Spring opening
All profits from the café will fund the work The Larder does in the community.
Kay continued: “The café is almost like the face of the operation, because there is a lot going on in the background.
“If successful we will no longer need to rely on grants and instead we’ll use our own funds to continue to go out and do things like pop-up cafés in community centres.”
The café is a worker cooperative, with four members running the project. Six jobs have been created, and the café will pay the real living wage. The café is still looking for a manager, and anyone interested should get in touch with email@example.com.
The Larder opens at 50-52 Lancaster Road on Friday 22 February. Opening hours will be 8am to 5pm during the week, and 9am to 5pm on Saturdays.
What do you think of The Larder’s café plans? Let us know in the comments below.