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Faelles Kafe: climate balls

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“The point is to inspire people to expand their perspectives, to think differently foodwise. Not in a didactic, educational way, but really through inspiration,” says Paula Taina, Manager of Fuglekvarterets Faelleskafe, a café in Nordvest, Copenhagen. The café idea took shape in the summer of 2019 in the form of an enterprise built on sustainable principles, set up by an association of 15 local individuals with a vision and the drive to make a difference. “We wanted to create a place where all people could get together to enjoy a good coffee, in a sustainable environment. There’s very few other eatery or coffee places in this neighbourhood, so we saw ourselves as a cultural meeting point too. We do a lot more than just serve coffee, from knitting café to lectures, choir practice or events for kids – all for free.”

But what sets the café apart is really its commitment to sustainability and the community of the Bird neighbourhood, as it’s called. “We use 100% organic materials, always sourced locally. Our menu is vegetarian and vegan, except just one meat dish, and 85% home-made. We really try to promote a sustainable way of consumption and are very mindful of our carbon footprint. Our vision is also about social sustainability, diversity, to inspire people in the broader sense of how to go about life, and to be that place where there is room for everyone. That’s why most of our events are free.”

Paula is no stranger to hard work, having grown up in a family of entrepreneurs, “working late, doing the numbers, putting in the hours. I swore I’d never do it, but here we are…” she laughs. She now manages the café in conjunction with being a mum, and particularly enjoys being creative in the kitchen: “We’re very anti-food waste, so we have a rule that all ingredients need to go into at least two items which can be a challenge sometimes, but a fun one. For example, we have ‘climate balls’, which are made from leftover cake that can’t be sold any more, we make them into small cakes that taste different every time.”

With the support of an EU-guaranteed loan from Merkur, backed by the EIF, the association was able to purchase the real estate, start up the business and really invest in it. “It was already a café before, but once we bought it, we were able to adapt it to our vision. All decoration is second-hand and we use local artists for the façade for example.” Paula explains. “With the lockdowns, we were able to fix some things on the inside, and we adapted our business model a bit, with online events, minimizing costs to get by. Now we’re open again and there’s lots of interest from the community. All in all, I think we were quite fortunate in this unfortunate situation”.

Company: Fuglekvarterets Faelles Kafe (The Bird Neighbourhood’s Communal Café)

Type of business: social enterprise, hospitality

EIF financing: EaSI Guarantee Financial Instrument (social enterprise)

Financial intermediary: Merkur

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Denmark, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/dk/index.htm

 

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