VIDEO: Serving food and comfort … social enterprise cafe Spoon reopens in Maryhill

By Ellen Thomson at

Glasgow’s tastiest social enterprise has relaunched offering space and support to a West End community.

Spoon Café is once again serving wholesome homemade soups, sandwiches and snacks at Maryhill Burgh Halls.

Location: Spoon has relaunched at Maryhill Burgh Halls

Crucially, the enterprise offers training and work experience to adults with learning difficulties.

It also runs a ‘Pay it Forward’ scheme which gives people affected by poverty or homelessness food free of charge.

But Unity, the organisation that runs Spoon, says it now wants to share its space with the community.

One collaboration is already up and running with Partick-based Language Hub.

It will run drop-in language sessions within the cafe environment.

Spoon and Maryhill Burgh Halls

Partners: Unity says its wants to share its cafe space with the local community

Emma Soanes is the CEO of Unity, which also operates a Spoon café in Trongate in the city.

“Unity have been hosting the café here in Maryhill for some time.

“But we closed it recently to have a bit of a rethink – and think about better ways we can engage with the local community with the space we have here.”

She goes on: “Spoon is much more than just a cafe.

Spoon and Maryhill Burgh Halls

Charity: customers who can pay help provide free food and drink for people who can’t

“We offer fresh and very affordable food in our cafés which we hope people will enjoy.

“But equally we hope to offer support and a warm welcome to other people in the community who need it.

“They maybe people who are vulnerable, and maybe not – people who just need some company.”

Emma says: “We offer free food at the café for those who need it via our ‘Pay It Forward’ scheme.

“And we also offer support, advice and drop-ins to people who can use the space here for other advice they might need.”

Watch: Unity CEO Emma Soanes talks about the relaunch of Spoon Café at Maryhill Burgh Halls

Emma says the relaunch of Spoon has “put heart back in to the Burgh Halls”.

“Certainly our experience is that when you walk into the Burgh Halls and it’s quiet and there aren’t people here and there isn’t food being cooked, people chatting – it’s not an environment that welcomes and supports people to come in and feel welcome.

“So that’s what we are trying to change.

“And we hope that we have a different environment here now that becomes a bit more of a hub – both a hub within the Burgh Halls itself and a hub for Maryhill.”