In January we tend to get wrapped up in ourselves. Physically, because it’s cold and you want to put that Christmas scarf to good use, and mentally, because January is a time of reflection, or really just a time for comparing ourselves to others, pledging a career change and wishing we could move house. To make ourselves feel more positive this month, we put a shout out for people and places in the food and drink industry in Dublin that give back to their communities and set an example for all of us, so if we're going to compare ourselves to anyone during this blue month, it's going to be them.
Passion 4 Food
The Turkish kebab shop with branches on Clanbrassil Street and Camden Street has acquired something of a cult following, and last summer started an initiative to provide free meals to the homeless on Mondays and Tuesdays. They also provide meals for volunteers who feed the homeless in the city centre, as well as bringing food to sick children and their parents at Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin.
Food For Thought
Chef Daniel Hannigan (currently at Richmond) has been running Food For Thought pop-up dinners for the past year to raise money for mental health charity 3ts, and he's managed to rope in some of the best chefs in the city to work for free. They've raised €12,000 so far and it doesn't look like he's stopping any time soon. Their next event, a dinner in L'Ecrivain on February 3rd, sold out in minutes.
Imbibe Coffee Roasters
Imbibe in Dublin 8 donate 1% of their sales to Women's Aid, an organisation that works to end domestic violence against women and children. They've provided staff and free coffee for Food For Thought events, with the proceeds going to suicide prevention and mental health charities, and they've recently launched "coffee in cans" for their wholesale customers, collecting, cleaning and refilling them when they're done, making the whole process zero waste.
One Society Café
The Gardiner Street café has been running their ‘Caffeinate and We Donate’’ initiative since they opened in November, where they donate 10c from every cup of tea and coffee sold to Temple Street Children’s Hospital.
Stampify is a scheme where users are able to donate meals to charity by completing a Stampify loyalty card in participating restaurants and cafés, which include Dublin Barista School, Third Space, Meltdown and the newly opened Flax & Beets. For every completed card, the restaurant and café partners make a donation to Stampify’s affiliated charity, Mary’s Meals, which provides enough funding to feed a child for a week in their place of education.
Social business venture and café Third Space run monthly ‘Square Meals’ dinners on the last Friday of the month, where diners pay what they think the meal was worth, and all proceeds go to that month's charity. They provide the food for free and staff volunteer their time.
Nick's in Ranelagh offers free coffee to over 65’s, and only charge nurses and emergency service staff €1 for coffee. They also gave €1 teas and coffees to all women on last year's International Women's Day.
Bang Bang in Phibsborough is the local shop every community should have. They're a real community hub in the area, and are constantly raising money for charity, including the Peter McVerry Trust, the Irish Traveler Movement, Together for Yes, The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Inner City Helping Homeless. They sell t-shirts for asylum seeks, give out free dignity packs for the homeless, and with the help of the local community, collected and delivered Christmas presents for 82 children in the Direct Provision Centre in Clondalkin last December. Heroes. Check out this lovely video about them from The People We Meet.
This Rush café provides free porridge and fresh fruit to children up to 18 from 8 - 9am on school mornings. No questions asked and it’s BYOC - bring your own container.
Since it opened in late 2017, Bujo in Sandymount has been helping out the community at every opportunity possible. From giving food to the Capuchin Day Centre and other charities, donating prizes for local events, and helping to physically clean up the area, the work that Bujo has done and continues to do to help the surrounding community is endless. They're also an amazing example of how to operate a sustainable restaurant, with all of their packaging compostible, and their electricity coming from renewable sources generated from composted waste. So they're basically making the world a better place for all of us.
Inner City Helping Homeless
Multiple cafes and restaurants around town have been working to raise money for Inner City Helping Homeless. Two Boys Brew organised a collection at the café for ICHH in the run up to Christmas, with food, clothing and personal hygiene products being donated by the surrounding community. Plans are underway for another collection, details of which will be communicated through their social media.
Wishbone on Montague Street donated a day’s worth of profits to ICHH last December, for the second year in a row, and on Black Friday last November, Fire on Dawson Street donated 10% of all online gift voucher sales to ICHH.
So there are a few reasons to feel more positive during these cold, dark January days. Know any other food or drink businesses doing nice things? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.