Food & Drink

Manchester Mother and Daughter’s Final Push to CrowdFund Dream Vegan Community Café

Manchester mother and daughter duo have entered the final week of crowdfunding for their vegan community cafe with £4,700 of their £5000 target already raised. 

Café Sorrel has evolved from a previous independent business Café Oooh La La which has been run by Manchester mum Janine James for over 20 years.

Prior to this, she won numerous awards at Glastonbury for her event catering, garnering the title of Best Breakfast Cafe on site in 2013 and 2014. 

For the past seven years, Janine has run her business from the Hulme Community Garden Centre, both of which have boomed in popularity over time leading to this new expansion. 

She is joined by daughter Zia, a community liaison officer for the NIA Centre with over 12 years experience in catering alongside her mum and two new directors Laura and Catherine. 

The four-women strong team have chosen to make their new venture a community interest company which means it will put community interest and benefit at the heart of its purpose. 

In an Instagram post to Café Sorrel followers, Janine explains: “It {Café Oooh La La} started in a little hut and we’ve kind of developed that over the last couple of years  and we realised we need a new café. The garden centre was evolving as well, so we joined together with local businesses from around the area.”

The café will source its produce from local suppliers in the North West, as well as the vegetable patches of the Hulme Community Garden Centre. The menu will serve exclusively vegan and vegetarian food and is set to change in line with the seasons, emphasising its environmental focus. 

A variety of produce grown at Hulme Community Garden Centre

Currently, the team are transforming an empty shipping container, located in the centre of the garden centre into a functioning cafe, set to be fitted with cold and hot food counters, a veranda and an open plan professional kitchen.   

Artistic impression of the finished cafe

The community conscious café hopes to host a variety of events as well as serving up tasty meals, by holding adult cooking workshops and skills workshops for people currently out of employment. 

Hulme’s strong community presence has been key for the development of the garden centre, and new café; a core group of volunteers gather every Wednesday from 11am-3pm to help with maintenance and development of the community space. 

Speaking in a Sorrel Café Instagram post, Janine says: “Without the Wednesday group happening half of what happens in the garden centre would never exist- they have built so many wonderful things.” 

The café is just £300 away from its net target of £5000, which will pay for seats, tables, furnishings and a designated children and baby area. With only 6 days left on their crowdfunding page, it will be a final race to the finish line for their funding target.

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