Arabian Bites, set up in May this year, is a vegan café specialising in Middle Eastern cuisine, offering a selection of carefully prepared fresh mezze dishes to choose from.
The new café is a not for profit social enterprise where all proceeds go back into the project to help the settlement and integration of newly arrived refugees. Newly arrived refugees from Syria and Iraq are then being supported to learn new skills and share their culture.
After previously running a pilot scheme at a temporary base at Methodist Central Hall on Warwick Lane, Coventry, the project has been so successful that Arabian Bites secured a permanent home at the CGL base on Lamb Street.
The charity, Change Grow Live (CGL) is a voluntary sector organisation specialising in substance misuse and criminal justice intervention projects. CGL started operating their service from Lamb Street in November 2017 and have since opened their doors to welcome Arabian Bites into their kitchen and café area.
The building has been a big improvement from the previous premises and much more welcoming for service users. The café area isn’t just there for the benefit of staff or service users using the building either, but also open to members of the public.
Kevin Ruddock, Locality Manager for CGL Coventry said: “We’re pleased to welcome Arabian Bites to our Lamb Street premises. We aim to provide a welcoming space where people from all walks of life can get the support and help that they need, and the team at Arabian Bites will make an important contribution to this. We hope that everyone, including service users, volunteers and the wider community will enjoy and benefit from the new cafe.”
It is anticipated that Arabian Bites will also provide an opportunity for training and personal development in the catering industry for service users at CGL.
Reverend Liz Jackson, Vicar of St Francis of Assisi Church and founder of the project said “CGL is a fantastic opportunity for Arabian Bites to build on the pilot pop up restaurant that began in May 2018. We have settled in now, and are welcoming regular customers as well as new faces”.
“We are getting excellent reviews in terms of the food people are enjoying and the project is also supporting newly arrived refugees to move closer to employment. We are really excited by this new partnership with CGL and the new opportunities it brings!”
Whilst the new cafés fantastic food is one result, the real results are the transformations of individuals lives and future. This project is a mutually beneficial relationship for both Arabian Bites and CGL. Arabian Bites are able to grow their business in a free premise, whilst CGL service users will now have access to affordable healthy food as well as training opportunities in the catering industry.
Liz Gaulton, Director of Public Health and Wellbeing at Coventry City Council said “I think this is a really good example of our community services sharing space and working together in the heart of our community. The café is an asset and I would encourage people to try it”.
Arabian Bites also catered for Coventry City Councils MiFriendly Cities project launch earlier this year and are supported by the Migration team at the council. More information about this project can be found at: www.mifriendlycities.co.uk.
The new vegan delight can be found at 1a Lamb Street, Coventry, CV1 4AE where both eat in and take away options are available.
To see what the menu has to offer, reserve a table and find out the opening days and hours, they can be found on Facebook: Arabian Bites Coventry.