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Daisy from NotJUST International

On Wednesday we hosted our first Diversity For Dinner event in our brand new café, and we have a special announcement.

Cooking Food

About The Café

NotJUST A Café is an exciting development of NotJUST Andover’s ongoing project in Andover, Hampshire. The Café is set to serve hearty, nutritious, affordable meals cooked from surplus food and be open for all the public. It will feature a ‘pay it forward’ scheme to provide outreach to the homeless community. A bookable kitchen will be at the back, available for party hire and for people without access to kitchen facilities so they can cook for their families with dignity. To learn more about our café please click here

About Diversity For Dinner

Diversity For Dinner was started as an initiative in October 2022 when we learned we were based near a hotel housing people seeking asylum and with refugee status. We created D4D to help make everyone feel more a part of the community. It’s a monthly event where a chef prepares a cultural meal from around the world, and people from the hotel and from the general public are invited to an evening of free food and socialising.

The Build Up

The day went by in a blur of preparation. The café was all abuzz with staff and volunteers. There was a very serious discussion amongst management about whether or not carrots belong in a bolognese. Not that I started the conversation, but it absolutely does. Carrot, celery, and onion creates a soffritto flavour base which is a staple in Italian cooking. It’s irrelevant, but I got my way 🙂

We also had one of our volunteers demonstrate his artistic flair by painting a Christmas scene on our window…

Jan With Andover Cafe Window
Mario Cooking at Andover Cafe

And Mario, who joined our shop as a volunteer and is joining us as a paid chef once the café is open, cooked the entire meal with the help of Marlon.

How The Meal Went

It was amazing! The café was packed full of faces we’ve come to know as family, and some new. It was a rather emotional night as it may be the last time we see some regulars due to the government moving people on, and we hope they won’t be moved far away. 

The food was incredible, hats off to Mario and Marlon, and the atmosphere was so lively and welcoming.

The Special Announcement!

Weeeeee!! Yay! The special announcement!

We have secured some funding to help us run Diversity For Dinner every day up until March! This means our Diversity For Dinner project has expanded into being a regular staple of NotJUST A Café, and we can support multiple families daily. This is huge news for our project, but we can always use more help! 

How You Can Get Involved

You can get involved by reaching out to us and volunteering with us if you are based in Andover.

If you would like to donate food to our café please text 07768 656973

If you would like to donate to our project please click here

Share the word about us!

 The more people that know about us the more we can grow and the more people we can help. Thank you.