The Liberty Cookhouse is a ‘do good’ initiative of Liberty Programmes, a Cooperative Community Interest Company. We operate exclusively for community benefit rather than the benefit of shareholders, so profits are invested in doing more good.
We believe that everyone deserves an equal chance to fulfil their potential, but refugees, people with multiple complex needs, and others can often get a raw deal in society. A combination of exploitation, vicious circles, discrimination and mistrust work against many people struggling to find good work, effectively removing opportunities to fulfil their best potential.
We also believe that there are very many barriers preventing local people from starting their own food based businesses. This robs society of huge benefits and drains people of drive and passion.
The Cookhouse is a project that we hope can address some of these challenges. We’re working on it in our own time and pro-bono. Luckily, we have others helping us, so we’re making pretty good progress so far.
We like to do good, have fun, create and learn. If that sounds like an attractive approach to life to you, then use the contact form to ask any questions, or to get involved in the project. I’m also very happy to meet up with you and chat informally.
The challenges in seeking to make a real and lasting difference through this project are many. Nevertheless, we’re willing to try because we’re all stupid/smart enough to believe we can change things for the better together!
We’d really welcome your support.
Dave Conroy – Chair, Steering Group
How can we change things?
- By offering a step on the ladder for people who need it.
- By providing employment opportunities for those most in need of them.
- By providing a space where small food-based businesses incubate and grow.
- By investing in people when no one else will.
What is the plan?
- We will create a community kitchen/food incubator, The Liberty Cookhouse.
- We will employ those who find it hardest to get a job and give them experience and support.
- We will create a business model that has enough flexibility to cope with language barriers and works around personal circumstances.
- We will partner with food businesses who share our values and want to provide genuine careers.
About the business itself
- The kitchen will be fully specified, able to cope with the toughest demands, and able to provide people with real-world experience rather than ‘just another course’.
- Jobs will be available working in the kitchen directly, running the business, and running businesses from the kitchen.
- Space will be available to hire for people with food-based businesses, for example street food vendors and small-scale manufacturers, who need the benefits of a proper kitchen for small periods of time.
- We will run, and help others run, businesses from the space, for example, bread and cake making early morning, sandwich delivery to offices/factories during the day or pizza delivery in the evening.
- We will sweat the space and ensure it’s used to its full potential and pays its own way.
Here’s a short video of a pitch we made at The Impact Hub Birmingham, seeking support for The Liberty Cookhouse