Social Bite, Helping the Homeless in Scotland.


Social Bite in Scotland

Social Bite in Scotland

We’ve been promoting Social Bite and the good work that they do since opening their first premises in Rose Street. They are one of several places in Edinburgh that offer a ‘suspended coffee’ service, allowing members of the public to pay in advance for a coffee or hot meal for a homeless person.

In December 2014, their target was to get over 800 people to pledge a meal for the homeless at Christmas but over 36,000 people came forward with a donation thanks to the generosity of the public.

Social Bite isn’t just about feeding the homeless though, they helping homeless people get back into full time work and Edinburgh resident Tim Harfield writes about what Social Bite means to him.

A heart warming eatery with genuinely delicious food, all for a great cause.

By Tim Harfield

Social Bite, set up by Josh and Alice in 2011, had every intention of becoming a charitable sandwich shop with great food, delightful service and all profits going to help others.

With one in four of their staff previously homeless, Social Bite not only provides for charities, but gives underprivileged people a new start in life by ensuring they earn money and are enjoying the work they are doing.

Just when you thought they couldn’t get any more kindhearted, they were open on Christmas Day for anyone to pop in if they had nowhere else to go.

During the working week, there’s one question that we all ask ourselves around 10:30am: ‘What will I have for my lunch today?’ Now, if you’re serious about your food (as I am) you are about to experience lunch like no other. Introducing the beautiful and inspiring Social Bite.

Social Bite on Rose Street

Social Bite on Rose Street

Okay, I’m sure you’re thinking most sandwich shops are not ‘beautiful and inspiring’. However, this is a sandwich shop like no other: with 100% of their profits going towards solving social problems – current projects include: Shelter Scotland, Vision Eye Care Hospital in Bangladesh, Microloan Foundation Malawi and Zambia and The STV Appeal ) – with four thriving shops in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Social Bite is taking the definition of charitable to new heights.

When I started a new job in central Edinburgh, I was keen to discover the local lunch hangouts. I was advised – through word of mouth – to check out Social Bite on Rose Street. When I was welcomed with a smile and a long chat with the charming staff, I actually forgot I’d gone there for something to eat!

Surely, I assumed, there was no way the food could be as enjoyable as the service, but after the first bite of my Chicken Fajita Wrap and the first taste of the Minestrone Soup, I knew how wrong I was. It was an explosion of fresh ingredients and unique flavours, which is little surprise as the menu was designed by Michelin Star chef Mike Mathieson.

I did try to add some variety to my lunch breaks with other sandwich shops, but this felt like being unfaithful to a girlfriend I really, really liked. So, after my seventh consecutive visit to Social Bite on Rose Street, the staff all knew me by my first name and continued to prove themselves as genuine and lovely people.

Normally I’m not one to get so passionate about a sandwich shop, but when you discover the fantastic work Social Bite is doing with charities, going there for lunch fills you with a warm sense of belief, not to mention gorgeous food.

Further information

Social Bite website. You can follow them on Twitter @SocialBite and like their Facebook page. You can read about some of the team who work in Social Bite.

In Edinburgh, you will find Social Bite at 121 Rose Street (near to junction of Castle Street) and at 89 Shandwick Place. They are open 7am to 3pm, Monday to Friday. Closed at the weekends.

In Glasgow you will find them at 103 Vincent Street and 5 Bothwell Street. They are opening a shop in Aberdeen and Dundee soon.

Christmas Day in Rose Street. Credit: Social Bite.

Christmas Day in Rose Street. Credit: Social Bite.

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