Just off the Narborough Road in Leicester, tucked away in the West End Neighbourhood Centre, is the wonderful Perfectly Edible UK – a community café with a big heart.Run by Gemma Orton, Perfectly Edible UK used to be known as the Real Junk Food Project Leicester. It changed its name in January, after cutting its ties with the Real Junk Food Project at a national level.
But although it is now an independent Community Interest Company, and it is ploughing its own way in the world, Perfectly Edible UK remains committed to ensuring edible food doesn’t go to waste. And, although it helps people experiencing food poverty, its café is open to everyone.
“We want to help people change their behaviours when it comes to using and eating food,” said Gemma. “Our mantra is ‘no good food should go to waste’. We do all we can to reclaim food that would otherwise be thrown away.”
Up to 50 people are fed every time the café, based in Fellowes Road, opens its doors. And they love what they are served. For Gemma’s team of cooks (she is one of them) prepare delicious fresh vegetarian meals. And many of them are produced using foods from the Central England Cooperative scheme that is being managed by FareShare East Midlands.
In addition to meals, Gemma and her team also offer local people food parcels from the food Perfectly Edible UK receives from the Coop and other retailers. Once a week, they host a market stall, which, in return for a small donation, enables local people to access surplus fruit and vegetables. And, if that isn’t enough, they also offer bespoke catering solutions to clients who are seeking “meals with a difference”.
“We do our best to provide good, nutritious meals that offer good value for money,” she adds. “Our charges are very low. But we really try to make the dining experience as good as we can.”
Judging by the smiles on the faces of diners at one of Perfectly Edible UK’s most recent events, they are certainly achieving this goal. And long may it continue.
We want to help people change their behaviours when it comes to using and eating food. Our mantra is ‘no good food should go to waste’. And we do all we can to reclaim food that would otherwise be thrown away.