CHEF ALEX HEAD ON EMPLOYING EX-OFFENDERS AND THE JOY OF BURRATA
After founding her own catering company, Social Pantry, in 2011 she’s just about to open her third permanent site in the capital, which she owes to her humble beginnings of selling sandwiches at the
age of 15
You’ve just opened restaurant and café called Soane’s Kitchen. What produce will you be growing on-site in the kitchen garden?
I am so excited to be able to grow our own produce in the Walled garden at Soane’s and to learn from the brilliant gardeners who will be teaching us a thing or two. My aim is to grow anything and everything! For starters, I am thinking courgettes, tomatoes and runner beans… keep an eye out for these making an appearance on the menu very soon.
What are the challenges facing a small company when incorporating sustainability into your business – and how are you overcoming them?
You don’t have endless budgets and it can cost a lot to implement new systems, so we have started with what we can achieve and aim to slowly grow our contribution. Do what you can is my motto. For example we use only recyclable packaging at all my cafes and offer discounts for keep cups as well as having zero waste elements of the menu, these are all simple steps. We also give all of our coffee granules to a lady who owns a worm farm!
In addition to creating a sustainable business, 10 per cent of my workforce are ex-offenders which is a commitment I have made over the past few years.