We have been working hard behind the scenes getting ready to launch our Crowdfunding page.
Today we hit the live button!!
We have been working hard at the new site, in all weathers getting it cleared and looking great. We now need vital funds for the next stage, moving in!
We are going to be moving our pop up shop to the gardens in January. We also hope to be starting the next stage… The Build.
Having a permanent, full time home has always been the dream of Random Café. Not only will we be able to continue to rescue food and make delicious meals from it we will also be able to teach others to grow, cook and enjoy fresh food whatever their skills. To read more about our plans and how you can help head over to our page.
People often ask us the difference between Random Café and the Foodbank. We’re fans of Watford Foodbank – we think the work they do to support our community is amazing – but we’re different from them in a number of ways:
Our food isn’t free. Random Café operates on a Pay As You Feel basis. We believe food is valuable and also that everyone should have access to food. We also have to cover our running costs. This is why we ask everyone who comes along to donate what they can for the food they take.
Anyone can use Random Café. Unlike the Foodbank, you don’t need to be in receipt of benefits or be referred to us. Just turn up during one of our opening times and see what food we have on offer that day.
We offer fresh produce. Because we make collections from supermarkets in Watford throughout the week, we’re able to offer fresh fruit, vegetables, bakery items and even flowers.
We offer food that is past its best before date. The Foodbank is unable to offer any ‘out of date’ food. In fact, we sometimes collect food that the Foodbank can’t distribute in time. All of the food we offer is still perfectly edible. By offering it to our customers, we are preventing it from going to landfill.
We are a (non-profit) Community Interest Company, not a charity. We don’t receive any government support through schemes such as Gift Aid and many traditional funding sources aren’t open to us. We have to cover all of our costs through Pay As You Feel donations and any additional fundraising we’re able to do.
With thanks to Watford Foodbank for their support of Random Cafe and for the incredible work they continue to do in our community.
Thank you all for your lovely comments of congratulations. It’s been a long journey and we are very excited to now be in a full-time home. It’s going to take a lot of work and fundraising to get the site looking lovely again. Over the last three years I’ve had the privilege to work with an amazing group of volunteers, and our team has expanded to nearly thirty in that time. They have already been working hard to clear the site and I will post photos to show the progress they have made over the next few days. Thank you to everyone who has expressed interest in volunteering with us, we have enough volunteers at present but will add any names of those interested to our database. Thank you again for the love and good wishes. Jane 💚
After just over three years and five temporary locations across Watford, we are delighted to announce that Random Café now has a permanent home at the Meriden Gardens in Watford. Walking distance from the Meriden Community Centre, the Meriden Gardens is a 100sq metre site that will allow us to have a full time premises in the heart of the Meriden community.
We are delighted to have a full time property and would like to express our thanks to Watford Community Housing Trust for agreeing to our proposals. With four polytunnels, including one heated one, as well as numerous raised beds, we believe the site will become a community and sustainability hub for Watford.
Our mini market will remain at the Leavesden Green Community Hub until we are able to move it to our new home. However, we will no longer be open on a Saturday afternoon to allow our volunteers who work during the week to come to our new home, and help the team there.
Please keep following our social media channels to be the first to see the latest developments at the Meriden Gardens.
Last month, Random Café put the call out to the community to design a superhero to help us fight food waste in Watford. Despite saving over 47 tonnes of food from being wasted since 2017, we knew that there was more that we could do so we asked for your help. As a further incentive, Watford Asda donated a hamper of prizes for the winner.
As a result of our competition, we were inundated with entries and our team had the difficult decision to decide who would be Watford’s Food Waste hero. After some consideration, we are delighted that Watford has its own food waste superhero in the form of Super Sam Broccoli Man. Designed by Katie aged 7 and checking everyone’s wheelie bins, he will be making sure that as much food as possible is saved in the town. Congratulations Katie and to our four runners up who also won prizes and thank you to everyone who entered.
As a result of this competition, the Random Café team will now be working with designers to create a digital version of Super Sam Broccoli Man who will be featured on bags, key rings and badges that you can purchase to help support us. We hope to be running similar competitions in the upcoming months so keep an eye on our social media pages to find out the latest opportunities.