Gingerbread Cafe opened in April 2013 with a view of becoming the hub of the community. Gingerbread Cafe is run by Forth Valley Enterprise CIC, which was established in 2012 by a local couple dedicated to make a positive difference in their community. The cafe, and FVE is is run on a not for profit basis. The money raised through the cafe and catering service is used to cover the considerable running costs of the services. FVE is aiming to become completely self-sustainable. Once the organisation is in the enviable position of having profits that are not needed to further develop the services, the surplus will be donated to local community projects and organisations.
Apart from the small staff team a group of dedicated volunteers also very generously give their time. The café offers volunteering, training and employment opportunities to local people, including those from disadvantaged groups. It is anticipated that the community will make full use of the café and through the customers’ interactions with the café staff, the need for other projects will be identified. The staff are part of the community in question and therefore have an insight into what might be of interest.
The cafe offers a platform for local artists to display their work for sale. This includes all types of art - photography, paintings, jewellery, music and so on, all of which are available in an online store. The cafe has a playroom, which is very popular with children and their parents/carers.
Gingerbread Café is now a recognised training centre, working in conjunction with NHS Scotland have set up this course for people who have little or no knowledge of how to cook. The course aims to give them the skills and confidence to start cooking at home, for themselves and their family whilst improving their diet. The meals each week will be hearty, wholesome and easy to make, using fresh seasonal ingredients. Our qualified chef will lead each session, teaching healthy meals at each class. After each class the students will take their meal home to share with family, including another portion of the same ingredients and easy to follow instructions, so they can attempt to make the meal independently at home. We are working with a Community Food Development worker to ensure all training is appropriate and of good quality.