We are a social enterprise with a mission to motivate change in people to prevent poverty, hunger and homelessness in Norwich.
How we started
Our roots are in an organisation called Leap which started in 2008. It was established by Barry Allard when Norwich City Council was awarded funding from central government under the Enhanced Housing Options Trailblazer initiative. The funding award was given to look innovatively at ways of reducing homelessness by addressing multiple needs – investing effort into attitudinal change, developing resilience and adjusting behaviour for the long term.
We incorporated employment, education and training with accommodation opportunities. After two years of achieving strong results we were awarded Reaching Communities Big Lottery Funding for three years. This enabled us to expand the team and Leap became part of St Martin’s Housing Trust, which has over 40 years’ experience of working with the most marginalised groups.
The Feed is formed
In February 2014, to secure its legacy, Leap registered a Community Interest Company which traded as The Feed. This was the trading part of the organisation aimed at selling food to generate revenue.
The first public retail outlet for The Feed was a stall on Norwich Market which was set up following a successful crowdfunding with significant support from Kettle Foods, businesses and individuals.
Prince of Wales Road café
In November 2018 the time had come to bring together all the activity of The Feed under one roof. Our premises on Prince of Wales Road gave us an indoor cafe space, a full kitchen to provide our supported work experience programmes, office space and storage.
Growth in 2021 and 2022
Despite the challenges of the covid pandemic, we found ways to grow and opened four new cafés in nine months:
May 2021 - we took over the running of the staff bistro at Kettle Foods' factory in Bowthorpe.
November 2021 - Norwich City Council chose us to operate the café in the pavilion at Wateloo Park in Norwich.
December 2021 - our next café to open was for staff and students at Norwich University of the Arts.
February 2022 - the beautiful Churchman House on Bethel Street is the location for our fifth café. Norfolk and Waveney Mind took over the building and asked us to run the café which is open to the public.