Café Britannia was launched in partnership with HMP Norwich and the Ministry of Justice to provide real life work experience to current and ex-offenders.
Initiated with an investment of just £30,000, Café Britannia transformed the former Officer’s Mess building at the Britannia Barracks into a vibrant shabby-chic café and bistro offering freshly cooked British cuisine seven days a week.
The café is staffed by Category D prisoners who are coming to the end of their sentence. They work alongside fully qualified chefs and catering staff who provide training and support enabling them to gain qualifications and confidence. Prisoners who successfully complete their training are able to apply for positions within the local community with approved employers.
Since opening in January 2014 Café Britannia has flourished and now serves over 400 customers a day and employs over forty members of staff.
Already a self-sustaining enterprise, Café Britannia applied for a Triangle Trust Development grant to help build on its success by converting the in-house bakery into a commercial enterprise to support its plans to open a second café in the centre of Norwich. The ventures have already been so successful that Café Britannia is now about to open a third Café in the City. The organisation has also invested in two vintage Citroen H vans to provide a Café Britannia on Tour service for private functions and festivals and has started to deliver an outsource catering operation.
To expand its offer further, Café Britannia is about to branch into Surrey at HMP Coldingley and has recently purchased two houses for renovation and refurbishment so that prisoners can receive training in a wider range of skills.
In addition to this rapid development Café Britannia has retained a re-offending rate of just 4.3% which is less than a tenth of the national rate.
Find out more at www.cafebritannia.co.uk