Belfast based social enterprise The Book Reserve & The Thinking Cup Cafe has been included on the 2016 New Radicals list.
The Lisburn Road business is one of 50 projects that are being celebrated for helping to change Britain for the better.
New Radicals is a search led by Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, and The Observer/The Guardian to find the top people, projects and organisations offering innovative ways to tackle social challenges.
Although it has only been open since 2015, The Thinking Cup Café and The Book Reserve bookshop are two businesses in one. It has established itself as one of Belfast’s most interesting and socially aware eateries.
It was established as a social enterprise to help young ex-prisoners—who are also parents—get back into long-term employment. The café and bookshop offers them a 12 months placement and training in areas including hospitality, training and retail. This helps to break cycles of re-offending.
“Sixty per cent of kids who have parents who are offenders will grow up to offend themselves,” Roger Warnock said.
“Also, the cost of jailing somebody is £70,000 to £100,000 a year, so it makes sense to try and keep young people from reoffending.”
The cafe offers a menu ranging from sumptuous salads and sandwiches to mouth watering pastries and desserts. Coffees are made by barista’s who really know their stuff. Upstairs there is a meeting room for hire as well as a reading area, which doubles up as the venue for live music events, comedy, poetry nights and workshops. Information on all events are available on our Facebook page facebook.com/bookreserve.