Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 14°C

Search

Teapot Cafe brings pay-as-you-feel menu to Ipswich and helps to reduce food waste in the town

PUBLISHED: 18:00 16 February 2016 | UPDATED: 08:33 19 February 2016

The Teapot at Mcginty's Ipswich. Junk Food cafe run by Mischa Pearson and voulnteers. Pictured Sarah sharlott, kath gosling, mischa Pearson, Adam Ferguson, Anna engstrom

The Teapot at Mcginty's Ipswich. Junk Food cafe run by Mischa Pearson and voulnteers. Pictured Sarah sharlott, kath gosling, mischa Pearson, Adam Ferguson, Anna engstrom

A hot chocolate, a biscuit and a sit are a welcome respite from the cold January air whipping through the streets of Ipswich.

The Teapot at Mcginty's Ipswich. Junk Food cafe run by Mischa Pearson and voulnteers The Teapot at Mcginty's Ipswich. Junk Food cafe run by Mischa Pearson and voulnteers

And at The Teapot Café at PJ McGinty’s, in Northgate Street, the welcome is always warm.

Volunteer Sarah Sharlott said: “Everyone is welcome here and everyone gets treated in the same way, with high standards of service and a friendly atmosphere.”

But The Teapot is different from other cafés – you don’t even have to pay for your food.

Today, on the “pay as you feel” menu there are daily specials – including hot dogs and an apple pudding.

The Teapot at Mcginty's Ipswich. Junk Food cafe run by Mischa Pearson and voulnteers 
Pictured Sarah sharlott The Teapot at Mcginty's Ipswich. Junk Food cafe run by Mischa Pearson and voulnteers Pictured Sarah sharlott

Sarah said: “The concept of the café is to reduce food waste. We get food donated from a variety of sources and we try to make sure nothing is wasted.”

Affiliated to The Real Junk Food Network – a growing and global organisation of pay as you feel cafes which abide by the movement’s motto “feed bellies, not bins” – The Teapot café is run by a team of volunteers like Sarah.

The café is the brainchild of mother-of-one Mischa Pearson.

The 29-year-old spent some of her teenage years in hostels.

The Teapot at Mcginty's Ipswich. Junk Food cafe run by Mischa Pearson and voulnteers The Teapot at Mcginty's Ipswich. Junk Food cafe run by Mischa Pearson and voulnteers

She said: “I know what challenges some youngsters face, particularly in terms of drugs and crime. I worked in the catering industry and it became a family to me and I wanted to help give other people that same chances I had.”

Using her savings Mischa negotiated the use of the premises – an old stable storeroom – and invested in the café to get it going.

She said: “I wanted to create a place where people from all parts of the community could come and eat together.

“I read an article about the real junk food project and I felt inspired that we could have something like that in Ipswich.”

Relying on social media and word of mouth for advertising, the Café now has around 100 customers a week and is run by a team of around 20 volunteers opening from Tuesday to Saturday .

Sarah, 53, said: “People come here and ask us for advice and it has evolved very quickly into a social enterprise where the community can come together and help each other out.

“The aim is to break even.”

Supported by a number of retailers and restaurant chains, the café cooks food that would otherwise be thrown away.

Mischa said: “A huge amount of food is thrown out. But generally you can use food beyond its best before date. Most supermarkets throw food out before or as it reaches the best before date but there is no reason why that food should be thrown away, particularly when there are hungry people who don’t have food.”

And at The Teapot little is wasted and the menu changes every day. Mischa said: “We offer support to people as they go through the next step of rehabilitation back into main stream society. It isn’t about making a profit, but more about what we can do the community.”

The kitchen itself has a grade 5 food hygiene certificate as well as the advantage of volunteer trained chefs.

Mischa added: “People have been very generous with donations of money and food which keep us going. We are very proud of what we serve to customers.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

A former Hollesley Bay prisoner has been given a conditional discharge and must pay £20 to the victims’ fund after being found in possession of a mobile phone in his cell.

Ipswich Pulse Festival, which brings innovative art productions to the town, is to be sponsored by Felixstowe-based Harrison C White Group for the next two years.

Firefighters from Ipswich had to use the service’s turntable ladder to rescue a man who was discovered in a life-threatening condition by paramedics on Sunday night

Students from Ipswich’s sixth form college are bringing a touch of the West End to break their summer term exam season.

Hundreds of displays of flowers will be adding colour to the Suffolk Show this week – but few will have started life quite like the offering from Katie’s Gardens plant centre.

The glorious sunshine over most of the Bank Holiday weekend brought out the crowds to Brightlingsea Regatta for one of the traditional highlights of the Essex summer season.

Youngsters from Cedarwood Primary School in Kesgrave are preparing for their big Bank Holiday Monday match at Wembley.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Most commented

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24