Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

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

18:00 16 February 2016

The Teapot at Mcginty

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 sharlottThe 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.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

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

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

Two vehicles have collided in Wickhambrook.

A woman has sustained a minor head injury during a two-vehicle crash in west Suffolk tonight.

Pigs Gone Wild sculptures being delivered to the streets of Ipswich

This week Suffolk has seen pigs pop up around town, James May officially unveil a new motorcycle museum and ITFC begin their pre-season training. To catch up on all the latest, watch this week’s news in video.

Centennial commemoration of the start of the battle of the Somme at Long Melford War Memorial at Holy Trinity Church.

The great-nephew of a Long Melford soldier who fought at the Battle of the Somme described the “humbling” experience of blowing on the same whistle his ancestor used to send men over the top.

More funding is needed to help people suffering with mental ill health, Labour says

Labour has joined calls demanding more money be made available for mental health services in Suffolk, warning that reported cuts of £200,000 will have “severe consequences” for sufferers in the county.

Rudimental were at Thetford last night

Two years ago Rudimental were performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury when it was powered down because an electrically charged storm was exploding overhead.

Ready for the start: The cars lined up in front of a large crowd ahead of the National Hot Rod World Championship race at the 44th Annual SpedeWeekend at Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, Suffolk, UK on 28 June 2015. Picture: Steve Waller

The draw of high action, high speed motorsport will be bringing fans of oval motorsport to Foxhall Stadium this weekend for the 45th annual SpedeWeekend.

Dave Lock decompressing on the line

Scuba divers searching the first British warship to sink in the First World War have made a “remarkable” discovery.

Most read

Great Days Out


Click here to view
the Great Days Out


Most commented


Show Job Lists


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24