The Scotland-based social enterprise launched its new initiative today so that people can enjoy ‘the best brownies ever’ while helping to fund programmes designed to break the cycle of homelessness.
These past few months have seen the hospitality industry adapting, changing and reimaging their business models as the world tries to tackle a pandemic.
But many have emerged with new ways of doing things that we never thought possible, to help keep their business afloat.
One such idea is nation-wide letterbox brownies, that you can have delivered to your door courtesy of homelessness charity Social Bite, which launched the initiative earlier today.
With Christmas just around the corner and more restrictions looking likely to be heading our way soon, letterbox brownies will make the perfect treat for anyone, anywhere in Scotland, and can be bought on the website.
Whether given as a gift or bought as a treat, customers will be doing good with every purchase of Social Bite’s “Boxes of Joy” brownies as 100% of the proceeds will be going towards the organisation’s efforts to end homelessness in Scotland.
Speaking to The Courier ahead of the launch, Social Bite founder Josh Littlejohn MBE said the initiative will help their business as a way of helping their business and employees during the pandemic.
Josh said: “These are crazy times we’re living in with the coronavirus pandemic and Social Bite is first and foremost a social enterprise with a chain of cafes and a big hospitality catering business and, like with everyone in the hospitality business, we’ve been really adversely affected by the whole thing.
“We were racking our brains as to how we can minimize redundancies, which is particularly important for us because a third of our workforce are people who have struggled with homelessness, and the employment opportunity they have with Social Bite is a massive lifeline for them.
“So we have come up with this product, to pivot what we’re doing, which are these amazingly delicious chocolate brownies, which will be delivered to your door. They’re probably the nicest chocolate brownies I’ve ever tasted and you’ll be able to buy them in a box of four or a box of nine. Doing so, you’ll be really supporting our social enterprise, you’re supporting our work with homeless people and supporting the employees that are making the brownies, many of whom have come through homelessness themselves.”
A box of four brownies will contain classic chocolate, white chocolate and raspberry, triple chocolate and chocolate orange, while a box of nine will include the same flavours as well as coconut dream, biscoff, cherry amaretto, chocolate espresso and strawberry crunch.
Boxes filled with four delicious brownies in a variety of flavours can be purchased directly from Social Bite online for £12 per box, with vegan and gluten-free options available and UK-wide delivery.
There are also vegan and gluten-free options available and there’ll be a Christmas box released in the next few weeks.
Josh said: “The boxes will literally come in the post so we can deliver to anywhere – it doesn’t even need to be just Scotland, it can go to England or anywhere really. We’re encouraging members of the public to go online and order a box but another thing that’s proving quite popular is employers buying boxes for all of their employees working from home, so that’s the other avenue we can do as well.”
The idea came from an employee and they were able to use their kitchen facility in Livingston, outside Edinburgh, to make it into a reality. The organisation is aiming to sell its first 1,000 boxes of brownies by the end of October to get them on their way.
When customers buy brownies online, they will also be given the option to “pay it forward” so Social Bite can distribute brownies to people experiencing homelessness on its free food handouts.
“I can’t take all the credit for the idea of brownies, it was a chap that works for us called Liam, who runs the cafes and we were racking our brains trying to think of new directions we can go as many businesses are at the moment.
“We’ve got this amazing kitchen facility in Livingston with all the cooking equipment you could ever need and it’s just not operating at capacity at the moment because the production of sandwiches and the things we would normally make have gone right down.”
“We were looking for a product that could literally be put in the post to people. We came up with Brownies and then Richard the chef started to make some samples and sent them round a few of us to try and we just felt it was a really, really good product and something that would be really easy for the public to get behind because who doesn’t like chocolate?
“The initiative is launching to the public as of 12pm today and we’re hoping we can start selling several thousand boxes across Scotland, or even further afield in England. We have had some orders from corporate companies over the last couple of weeks as we’ve been getting it up and running and we’ve had some amazing feedback from anyone who has had them so far.”
As a social enterprise business, Social Bite exists to achieve social objectives and is driven by a cause, rather than profit. It is hoped that the new food delivery service will help to sustain its enterprise model and support more people into jobs to help break the cycle of homelessness.
One in three members of Social Bite staff have experienced homelessness as an extreme barrier to employment Social Bite was launched by Josh Littlejohn and Alice Thompson and runs a chain of five social enterprise cafes in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, a Social Bite Delivery business which employs and supports people affected by homelessness, as well as Vesta Bar & Kitchen in Edinburgh.