The Second Chance Café has officially launched in Littlehampton, at Parkside Evangelical Church, St. Floras Road, Littlehampton, BN17 6BD.
We are open once a fortnight on a Thursday. Please check our Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.
March 2024 sessions: Thursday 7th March, Thursday 21st March
The Second Chance Café menu is sourced predominantly from surplus food and run on a pay-as-you feel basis. So, visitors can choose how much they feel the product or service is worth, and the price they pay is up to them. This means that no one is excluded from visiting and supporting the café. We hope that all community members can then sit down and share a meal together, get to know each other and feel welcomed. Please click the button below to book via our online booking platform:
Interested in volunteering at the cafe?
We are on the lookout for volunteers for lots of different roles, whether in the kitchen or front of house. Please register your interest for volunteering using this form.
Meet Louise, the driving force behind the Café…
How did you get involved with Littlehampton Community Fridge?
My background is in hospital catering management and managing training and personnel in a cook-chill production unit. I was made redundant in 1995 and with a young family at that time I decided to set up as a self-employed consultant. Initially I was offering food safety and health and safety training but this developed into working with businesses to support them with legal compliance. I have a unique set of skills and developed some really good relationships with a wide range of businesses including 3 Michelin star restaurants, takeaways, hospitals, community groups, private chefs & startups.
I now also work with a kitchen design consultancy ensuring the professional kitchens they design are compliant. I have now extended my work to offer First Aid training and hope to provide this to the fridge community. I am an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and as part of my continuous professional development (CPD) I attended a conference where one of the talks was about the first Community Fridge and how this concept was developing and expanding. I was really interested but had no time to pursue it at that time.
My husband and I moved to Littlehampton last year, although I have been visiting Rustington all my life – my grandfather moved here in the 70’s and my only 2 aunts also lived on Broadmark Lane. Very sadly my lovely Auntie Dot died this year and although she was 98 it was still unexpected – I spent many hours with her and I found that without her I was looking for something useful to do with my spare time. I saw on Facebook that the Littlehampton Community Fridge needed volunteers – when I went along to the information event I was made so welcome by Hayley and met so many lovely people I knew it was something I wanted to get involved in.
My trial session was hosted by Janet who thought that maybe my skills could be put to good use with the Second Chance Café project – and here I am!
What is your background in food and cooking?
I went to a very academic school and was a very average pupil. But the one thing I was really good at was cooking! I did an A level that covered culinary skills, food science and social science and loved it. The year of my A levels my sister got married and my first commission was to make and decorate her a 4-tier wedding cake.
I was very keen to become a chef but decided to do a 4 year catering management course. The second year was spent working in the industry and I gained a lot of experience in professional kitchens. When I graduated I went to work at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford and as a manager my cooking time was limited (only covering when chefs didn’t turn up for work) so I transferred my love of cooking into my home life. I continued to make and decorate wedding and celebration cakes and have made many for friends and family. As a family we love a party and the principle of inviting lots of people thinking they won’t all come never works and we end up with 50+ hungry guests. Consequently I have a good recipe repertoire and a well equipped kitchen which has come in very useful with the produce that we are using from the fridge.
My other (slightly weird) passion is food safety – I work with the principle that it is no point putting time, effort, energy, money or love, into food if you take risks that could make the food unsafe. By law the café is a food business and extensive food laws apply. We will have home cooks preparing food for a business and therefore my job is to ensure that everyone is confident and competent to prepare, cook and serve food that is not only delicious but also safe to eat – then we will all have peace of mind.
Do you have a favourite ingredient or recipe?
My favourite ingredient and the food I would struggle to give up is eggs – so versatile, nutritious and delicious.
I don’t really have a favourite recipe – more favourite cooking experiences – preparing for a family meal or party with my now grown up children. The signature dish for my son and I to make is Beef Wellington and a Salmon Wellington for his girlfriend who is allergic to beef. My daughter and I have made many speciality cakes together – sitting side by side making sugar paste flowers. On a more day to day basis, we like to make a ‘Super Salad’, using what we can find to make a tasty healthy meal.
What about this project are you most looking forward to?
It really is a very exciting project for Littlehampton – taking food that would be wasted and making meals from it – but also providing a social focus for people to sit and enjoy good food with friends. There is great potential for this to develop and provide a valuable service to the community.
What has been the biggest challenge so far?
The biggest challenge for me is working across 2 sites – St. James and Parkside – but hopefully we will find a way that achieves the aims of the café and is accessible to as many people as possible.
Can we have a sneak preview of the sort of food we can expect on the menu?
We take what we can manage and supplement with pantry items, always striving to keep the costs at a minimum. At each Café session, we’ll have a warming soup starter, followed by a hearty hot meal. For those with a sweet tooth, don’t worry – we’ll also serve a decadent dessert, and of course, tea or coffee to finish.