Social Enterprise Café on Cork’s Northside Re-open for Farm to Fork Food

The Garden Café Cork, widely regarded as Cork’s Greenest Café, has reopened for business.  

A social enterprise run by Churchfield Community Trust, the café is situated on the grounds of Cork Foyer (formerly the old Assumption Convent) on Assumption Road, Cork and located in a beautiful Victorian style glasshouse, offering spectacular views of Blackpool. It is open daily from Monday to Friday each week for morning coffee, freshly baked scones, brownies and flap jacks.  An exciting lunch menu is on offer daily using the finest seasonal produce sourced from their own community garden allotments at the Foyer and at the Hydro Farm in Tower, and from local artisan producers.   

The produce used at the Garden Café comes from their own ‘Farm to Fork’ initiative using organic principles. Parents can unwind and relax while toddlers play in the park and explore the community garden.     

 At first glance this café aspires to the high standards of many other Cork restaurants; however, there is a wider picture which focuses on providing adult education in a unique community spirit. Certified training and mentoring in food and beverage, barista, food hygiene HACCP, customer service is provided in a live café environment which follows all Failte Ireland Covid -19 Safety Charter Protocols.

Paul O’Donnell, Project Manager of Churchfield Community Trust, described opening after the lockdown: “Opening after Covid-19 has been a real challenge for us as a social enterprise with limited resources, but what we lack in resources we make up for with motivation and determination. I am  really proud of the entire  Churchfield Community Trust Team  and the spirit in which  each challenge was taken on which included  adapting work practices and also adhering strictly to the Covid Protocols.” He continued, “If anything for us as an enterprise with a social conscience the changes to work practices have been an opportunity to up-skill our staff and participants on Covid regulation which are skills needed for all walks of life currently.”

CMK07082020 REPRO FREE NO FEE Mairead Kelly & Tony Kenny prepare tomatoes for sale pictured at Cork Foyer allotment and the Hydro Farm in Tower. “The Garden Café, a social enterprise run by Churchfield Community Trust, is based at the Cork Foyer on Assumption Road, serving fresh farm to fork food straight from their growing sites at the Cork Foyer allotment and the Hydro Farm in Tower.” Picture Clare Keogh

“I would like to ask people working and living locally to come and support all small and medium size enterprises over the next number of months”.

Educating myself has challenged me to think differently, cope differently, react differently to situations that arise in my daily life. It has changed my perception of myself as someone who did not belong in society to someone who can contribute and hold his head up high. Churchfield Community Trust was the conduit that facilitated my journey from long-term unemployment, poverty, addiction and generally living on the fringes of society to participation in continuing education to now being employed in the field of addiction. Returning to education has been an extremely rewarding experience. 

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