Random Café is 2 – A review of our last 12 months

Random Café has come a long way since its inception two years ago on 1st August 2017.

This year our team of volunteers have given over 1400 hours of their time to sort, weigh, cook, bake and prepare everything needed to bring the cafe to over 1900 customers. Thank you to everyone for your help and support this year and for making Random Café the successful, welcoming community café that it is.

This time last year the whole team were very busy planning the catering for a wedding. This was the first big catering event for Random Café. Sinéad and Alex, the happy couple, had asked for a hot Indian themed buffet with dessert table to follow. Being a waste food café and part of The Real Junk Food Project we manged to intercept most of the ingredients, bought the extra bits and the cooking commenced. There were some challenges on the day, the Random team are amazingly resourceful and did an amazing job. Everything looked fantastic and the Bride, Groom and guests loved it.

In the last twelve months Random Café has held several other events including Garston Park Fun Day, Holywell Festival, an opening for the ReUse Centre for Hertfordshire County Council and our very own Afternoon Tea event at Watford Museum. This was our first ticketed event and it sold out very quickly. The museum is a great venue and I’m sure we will hold more events there in the future.

We have, sadly had to say goodbye to our original two venues West Watford Community Centre and Centrepoint Community Centre this year and recently made the move to one venue for our cafés – Meriden Community Centre. It’s been lovely forming relationships within the community and this year they have grown further. The Meriden Residents Committee asked us to join them for an Easter Event for the children in the local area. A fun event with an Easter Bonnet competition, Easter Eggs and Easter themed treats from us.

Back in March we launched our Supporting Membership. This has been a great success with 21 members and some great prizes. If you would like to join in, have a look at our membership page for details.

Here are just some of the prizes we have given away to the lucky winners.

Our main aim is still a sustainable one – saving food waste, and this year we have saved even more. A huge 28,463 Kilograms of food has been saved from going to landfill in two years. That’s the same weight as 5 elephants.

This Saturday we celebrated our second birthday. We had a free raffle where everyone won a prize, games and of course birthday cake. We are lucky to have some fantastic bakers within our team. Jenny made this fabulous birthday cake, with rainbow layers hidden inside, and Nici made, her now famous chocolate balls. (It’s not a true celebration without cake and chocolate balls.) It was a lovely afternoon and a the café had a wonderful atmosphere.

We were joined by the Deputy Mayor, Karen Collett, who kindly helped us draw our raffle and made a very flattering speech praising Random Café and all its volunteers.

So what does the next year hold for Random Café? We are going to keep looking for our full time home, build our relationship with the local community, save more food from landfill and start more sustainability projects.

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