The Magic Hat Cafe
‘The Magic Hat Café aims to divert good food from landfill, and raise awareness on food waste by ‘upcycling’ surplus food to feed the community.’
The Magic Hat Café aims to divert good food from landfill, and raise awareness on food waste by ‘upcycling’ surplus food to feed the community.
Food that would otherwise be sent to landfill is collected from local food businesses and households in and around Newcastle upon Tyne. This includes fruit and vegetables that are unattractive; bakery products that can only be sold on the day of production, surplus from food growers and end-of-line or unsold produce. We then prepare this would-be-waste into nutritious meals and drinks, which are served to the public on a ‘Pay-As-You-Feel’ donations basis.
Pay as you feel means people can pay with their time, skills and/or money - however much or little they like. We ask people to put their value on the food that others have deemed worthless. Our work wouldn’t be possible without our amazing volunteers, and we invite customers to wash their own dishes as a contribution. Our pay-as-you-feel policy creates a unique, inclusive and welcoming atmosphere where we encourage conversation, interaction and bringing people together from across communities around a table. Although naturally our work ties in with issues such as food insecurity and unemployment, we do not see ourselves as a food poverty project and our goals require everyone, regardless of social status, to come and help us fight the battle against food waste in our city.
In April 2018 we launched Newcastle's first PAYF supermarket at Byker Community Centre. We are working with the staff and volunteers to bring fresh surplus food to the city that’s available to everyone: no referrals, no addresses, everybody is welcome and as long as the food gets eaten and not landfilled, we're happy!
We are now also running a regular pop-up cafe at BCC, every Friday from 5.30-8pm - serving a range of dishes made from 100% surplus ingredients. We'd love to share our food and message with you, please come down and pay-as-you-feel.