Support the Community award for Friends House Restaurant
Friends House Restaurant which helped set up a bakery for men with personality disorders and now offers them employment opportunities has been rewarded with the Support the Community award at the Food Made Good Awards 2017. The awards are the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s (SRA) annual industry-leading accolades.
The award was one of 17 presented by SRA President Raymond Blanc and Vice President Prue Leith. A special ceremony was held at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Lindley Hall in London. Borough Market food stall Gourmet Goat, popular London breakfast hangout The Breakfast Club, and Richmond’s finest, Petersham Nurseries, were among the other winners.
Paul Grey, CEO of Friends House Hospitality, said: “Winning this award means a lot to us and the men from DHP. This has been an extraordinary journey and a life-changing experience on both sides.”
Setting up a social enterprise bakery
Friends House Restaurant is located in Friends House, the central offices of Quakers in Britain. The restaurant worked with Douglas House Project (DHP) to establish a social enterprise bakery giving men recently released from prison or hospital a chance to learn how to create, bake, sell and deliver cakes and sweets. Many have gained a food hygiene qualification and four have been given paid apprenticeships at Friends House. Customers now get to enjoy their baked goods in the Quaker Centre Café.
The project manager at DHP said: “Friends House have offered our clients a purpose. It is, for many of them, the first time in their lives they have had structure, the first time they have been paid for the work they do, the first time they have worked with others on a project they are proud of and take responsibility for.”
Friends House fought off stiff competition from Bristol-based grab and go Friska and The Wheatsheaf, Chilton Foliat, who were both runners-up in the category.
A reward for sustainable and ethical restaurants
The Food Made Good Awards reward restaurants and food service businesses whose extraordinary accomplishments in the last year have driven progress in the industry and demonstrated that all food can be made delicious, ethical and sustainable.
The Support the Community award, sponsored by PKL, is designed to recognise businesses that make food do good as well as taste good in their area. SRA Members score higher in this area than any other in the Food Made Good Sustainability Rating.
Raymond Blanc, who also curated the lunch at the awards ceremony, featuring dishes prepared by Steve Titman, Executive Chef of Summer Lodge and Nick McGeown from Lussmanns Fish and Grill, as well as Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, said: “The Food Made Good Awards are so critical, recognising the work and commitment of individuals and organisations responsible for bringing new ethics to our food production, and sharing those values in our kitchens and with consumers.
"The awards truly remind us why we are so proud to work in this industry. Food and its production touches every part of our lives; it will define the society and communities of tomorrow, as well as our health and the health of the planet. Each and every one of the winners have demonstrated food’s huge potential as a force for good. I am honoured to play some part in rewarding their significant achievements.”