What is Soul Soup?
Soul Soup is a social enterprise vegan cafe serving food that's good for you and the planet. Our menu is created around rescued food that would have otherwise gone to landfill and other organic, low impact, plastic free produce.
Soul Soup has been a dream of mine (Hi! My name's Maya) ever since I became interested in our food systems. I became vegan when I realized that a plant-based diet is kinder to your body, the planet and all creatures. When I learnt about the magnitude of the food waste problem on a global scale, combined with food poverty and environmental destruction the idea of Soul Soup was born.
Soul Soup's environmental and social objective is to make plant-based diets accessible and affordable for everyone, and lower carbon emissions in the process by rescuing food surplus.
When you eat at Soul Soup you're nourishing yourself and protecting the planet. By funding Soul Soup you're helping us move from event catering and a part-time market stall to a permanent cafe where we can fully realize our vision!
Our menu changes daily as we never know what food we will rescue that day. The upside to this is that our dishes are highly creative and vibrant. We serve delicious & nutritious soups, vegan omelettes, hot pots, salad bowls, specials & sweet treats.
What We Need
We're crowdfunding for £3,000 which will help us set up our cafe by covering decor expenses, kitchen equipment, crockery and a till system... Pretty much everything you can physically see when you walk in the door! Wherever possible we'll be buying second hand, supporting our local economy, considering the product's lifespan and it's impact on the environment.
Having a permanent cafe will allow us to be an inclusive space for the community, as well as host events promoting sustainability and healthy lifestyles. Soul Soup will also be able to offer training and employment opportunities for people with mixed abilities and from disadvantaged backgrounds by working in partnership with local organisations. Finally, having a space to call our own will allow us to support local artists by showcasing their work and hosting cultural events.
Soul Soup cafe will be opening in the coming months in Unity Center; a Yoga, Well Being and Arts Center in Lewes. This is a wonderful opportunity for two purpose before profit organisations to work together to feed the mind, body & souls of our community.
(To find out more about the center you can have a look at https://www.being-in-unity.com/the-unity-centre-lewes )
Soul Soup has enjoyed rapid development thanks to an overwhelmingly positive reception from Brighton & Hove and it's booming vegan community so we're positive you can help us reach our £3,000 goal.
We're offering lots of unique perks as well to thank you for your generous support!
Soul Soup is a purpose before profit business, serving nutritious plant based food. Environmental sustainability is paramount and that's why our menu is 100% vegan, our energy is green, our packaging is compostable, our ingredients are sustainable, our cleaning products are eco-friendly and we minimize the use of single-use plastics. As we aspire to be a zero-waste kitchen we donate any leftovers to local charities supporting vulnerable people. We also operate a Pay It Forward scheme whereby customers can buy a meal or a drink on tab for someone who can't afford one.
By supporting our campaign you're saving food from going to landfill, reducing carbon emissions, encouraging sustainable lifestyle choices and helping to make plant-based diets and their health benefits accessible to everyone.
Soul Soup was set up and primarily operates in Brighton, UK, a part of England known for being progressive in many sectors including issues such as veganism, food waste and the environment. We're still a small start up but interest in Soul Soup has been growing rapidly meaning that after only a few months we've been at market stalls, catered for large networking events, parties and yoga retreats, as well as working towards our own cafe space.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you can't contribute don't worry there are lots of ways you can help Soul Soup grow and be part of our story! Feel free to share our crowdfunding campaign as well as like our Facebook and Instagram pages. Better still, keep an eye on our events calendar and come along to Soul Soup events near you or become a regular when we've moved into our cafe!
Risks and challenges
We feel our biggest challenges are encouraging a diverse customer base to eat nutritious vegan food, reassuring people that our business is squeaky clean even though we use rescued food waste and explaining why we charge set prices for our dishes.
Firstly, our mission is to make plant-based diets and their health benefits accessible and affordable to everyone in the community regardless of background, income and ability. It's important to us to show people that healthy plant-based food is not expensive and does not have to be reserved for the middle class. We believe non-vegans will want to eat at Soul Soup simply because our food is delicious and our cafe is an inclusive space. Whilst veganism has grown exponentially in recent years there has been a huge increase in vegan junk food and very little in terms of affordable nutritious vegan food. This is our niche market!
Secondly, yes we are a social business that uses intercepted food waste but we still have to comply with UK Health & Safety Regulations and have regular food hygiene inspections just like any other food business. Our intercepted food waste is produce that isn't up to supermarket standards of perfection or produce that is past it's Best Before date. Food that is past it's Best Before date is still edible and nutritious. Food past it's Use By date is not safe to eat and thus we never use products past it's Use By date.
Thirdly, it would seem that using free food surplus and selling it at fixed prices is a highly lucrative business model and not in keeping with social business objectives. This is not the case for several reasons:
-Our menu is based around rescued food waste but we buy extra ingredients to create exciting dishes
- We have different business costs such as pickup and delivery fees, sorting produce and twice as much food preparation time as our chefs' make different dishes from scratch every day (as our produce will differ daily)
-When you go out to eat you are paying for atmosphere, service, staff wages, rent, general overheads and a minimal amount covers food costs. Soul Soup operates as a normal food business and as a result has overheads and payroll to cover. Unlike many food waste initiatives Soul Soup is not dependent on outside funding and or largely ran by volunteers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)