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.

We’re Back!!

After our hiccup of not having enough volunteers last week we are back at The Meriden this Saturday. We will be there from 1pm till 3pm with our café and mini market.

Could you become a food waste hero and volunteer for Random Café? Come along and find out more at our next café.

Random Café @ The Holywell Festival

On 29th June Random Café join the first Holywell Festival at King George V Park. The weather was fantastic, very hot, sunny and dry. We went along to do a stall offering pay as you feel refreshments. Lots of our volunteers gave up their afternoon to provide cold drinks, tea, coffee, cakes and crisps. We also had chocolate but, as you can imagine, it really didn’t like the weather.

holywell festival 29th june 2019

We were treated to live music with a variety of local bands. The  music gave the day a really happy, holiday atmosphere.

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Random Café were just one of the places you could get food at the Holywell Festival. There was a wide selection from falafel wraps to ice cream to jacket potatoes.

One of the stalls that really caught our eye was Cycling without Age. This is a fantastic group of volunteers that help older people across Watford experience the outdoors and nature close-up with their fabulous trishaw cycling scheme. The trishaws are battery assisted and Nici and Myself went for a ride round King George V park. It was a great experience and such a great project. The rides are free with the trishaws currently based at Watford Cycle Hub. You can find Watford Cycle Hub next to the Holywell Community Centre.

 Thank you to everyone who visited our stall to chat to us we really enjoyed our afternoon and hope to join everyone again next year.

A huge congratulations to all the organisers for a successful first Festival and a fun afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Random boat trip on The Grand Union Canal

Join the Random team on a relaxing afternoon cruising down The Grand Union Canal. We have organised our first Random outing on this lovely canal boat. There will be tea, coffee, soft drinks and a buffet included with each ticket. Tickets are already going fast. To book your place email randomcafeuk@gmail.com for more information.

Being a supporting member of Random Café allows early bird access to all Random events. To see our membership options and to join pop over to our membership page Random Membership Members can also receive up to 50% off event tickets and invites to exclusive members only events.

Supporting Random Café can win you prizes.

Every pound donated to Random Café helps us save more food from going to landfill. Our monthly membership donations are real lifeline, helping us to continue to Feed Bellies Not Bins.

This month we have a great prize for you to win.

  • 4 tickets to Hollywood Bowl in the Intu centre.
  • 4 tickets for the Vue Cinema in Garston.
  • A family (for 4) ticket to Farmyard Funworld at the Lincolnsfield Centre
  • And some yummy chocolate treats to enjoy.

You could be in with a chance of winning. All you have to do is become a supporting member of Random Café. Just click the links on our membership page. 💚

Easter and our local community

One of our regular venues is The Meriden Community Centre in the heart of The Meriden Ward of Watford. We have been holding our Cafés here for over a year and have got to know quite a few of the local residents. We were recently asked by the Meriden Residents Committee if we would like to join in with their Easter Community Event to be held as part of the Great British Spring Clean.

We love connecting with other community groups so, of course we said yes. We normally hold our café in the smaller flexi-space hall but for this event we were in the larger hall. With extra tables and people to cater for we made extra floral table decorations and expanded our menu.

The Residents Committee collected a large number of bags full of litter making the area around the centre looked lovely in the sunshine. Once they’d all finished cleaning up they joined us in the hall for veggie bean chilli, pasta bake and vegetable soup. We had a record amount of people for our Saturday café with 58 joining us.

Our bakers added an Easter touch to the sweet treats on offer.

The Residents committee had organised an Easter bonnet competition – there were some beautiful creative bonnets with the judge finding it very difficult to choose a winner. At the end of the café all the children received a chocolate Easter egg each which made a lot of little faces smile. It was a very busy and fun event and we hope to hold more joint events throughout the year.