Café grub popularity brings project to halt
A Sikh community cafe that is also a social enterprise training project for would-be caterers has had temporarily to suspend its activities in the Scottish town of Leith.
It could be called a victim of its own success.
The healthy Indian lunches cooked at the Punjad’n de Rasoi, or Punjabi Women’s Kitchen, became so popular that it could not accommodate all the customers who turned up. It is now looking for larger premises.
The group cooked its last meal at the Acorn Centre in Junction Place, Leith, with a special Diwali menu.
The cafe was opened in the summer by the Sikh Sanjog community group, formed in 1989 to help Sikh women and their families to access mainstream services. The cafe aims to give women the chance to develop their home cooking talents into professional catering skills.
It offers trainees accredited qualifications, raised confidence and self-esteem, paid employment, employability and financial independence.
The Sikh Sanjog website says it has trained 14 volunteers in food handling, cash handling and customer care and 12 gained an accredited certificate in food hygiene.
By 2010 the group aims to have trained 68 women in food and cash handling, customer care, health and safety, marketing and communication – to the point where they could expect to gain employment in the wider community.
Sikh Sanjog was one of eight organisations to receive an enterprise grant from the Scottish Community Foundation, out of 220 applications.
It hopes publicity in the press and online will help it to find larger premises. Call 0131-553 473 if you think you can help.
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