OPEN Norwich launch new youth run café and private dining service

Rosie Stutchbury, cafe supervisor at OPEN Norwich. Photo: Keiron Tovell Photography

Rosie Stutchbury, cafe supervisor at OPEN Norwich. Photo: Keiron Tovell Photography - Credit: Keiron Tovell Photography

OPEN Norwich have launched a new venture enabling young people to gain valuable catering and hospitality experience.

Andrew Barker, head of catering at OPEN Norwich. Photo: Keiron Tovell Photography

Andrew Barker, head of catering at OPEN Norwich. Photo: Keiron Tovell Photography - Credit: Keiron Tovell Photography

OPEN Norwich has launched a new venture enabling young people to gain valuable catering and hospitality experience.

The youth charity trust, based on Bank Plain in Norwich, has opened a café serving a range of healthy dishes made from locally-sourced produce.

These dishes are created by head of catering, Andrew Baker, with the help of two apprentices taking part in the OPEN café programme who are working towards accreditations for their CVs.

Mr Baker, 45, said: 'The café is going really well. People are loving the food and we're getting everyone trained up, which is crucial for continuity of service.

A selection of food from the new cafe at OPEN Norwich on Bank Plain. Photo: Keiron Tovell Photograph

A selection of food from the new cafe at OPEN Norwich on Bank Plain. Photo: Keiron Tovell Photography - Credit: Keiron Tovell Photography

'Before we just had a tuck shop type of thing going, with lots of chocolate bars on sale, but now we're trying to hide all that and we're offering good quality, healthy food in a safe place.'

The café's menu features items such as salads, soup, sandwiches and hot box specials which change daily. A selection of baked goods are also available.

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Apprentice Emma Hornby, 20, is working in the café. She said: 'I'm learning so much here and have had some great opportunities already, such as being able to help cater events. That was a really nice surprise.'

As well as an eatery, OPEN has also launched a private dining service, offering companies the chance to bring their clients in for important meetings or occasions.

It also hopes to begin serving afternoon teas in the future and ais considering holding some fun themed food and drink events.

OPEN chief executive John Gordon-Saker said: 'Having Andrew here has really opened the door to all sorts of catering opportunities. We can now feed up to 240 people and have lots of exciting things planned for the future.'

OPEN Youth Trust was set up in 2005 to provide opportunities for young people in Norfolk, including those who are most disadvantaged.

Some 3,000 people aged between seven and 25 benefit from the charity each year, which is funded by commercial operations at its city centre base through events such as live music and gin festivals.

For more information, visit opennorwich.org.uk

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