Hospitality and sharing of food, experience and knowledge is at the heart of The Stove ethos. The very first planning conversations about 100 High Street shaped the idea of a café on the ground floor – somewhere with a big smile and good food that made The Stove a place that welcomed anyone in for a blether, to watch the world go by and maybe find out a bit more about what is happening in the local creative scene and the town as a whole.
This vision has been written into every stage of the Stove process and wholeheartedly supported by our core partners Dumfries and Galloway Council, Creative Scotland and Holywood Trust.
The café idea has now developed into a Food Strand of creative and educational programming at The Stove. The project is run as a social enterprise, specifically set up for the purpose, it is a partnership between The Stove Network and Colin and Angela Green. The café is ‘not for profit’- after covering its own costs all proceeds go towards the main Stove project and delivering our Food programme of activity in particular. So when you are enjoying Angela’s excellent soup you are also contributing to the work of The Stove….what’s not to like!
The Stove café aims to use ethically sourced and local produce wherever this is practicable (given the realities of pricing in the town centre) – for example we use milk from the independent Roans Dairy in Dalbeattie. Anyone who knows anything about the dairy industry will know just how rare independents are in Scotland – our relationship with Roans is a good example of how the Food Strand works with the café. In October 2015 we screened a movie called ‘The Moo Man’ an event which also included a discussion about the dairy industry over milkshakes – when researching the event we discovered Roans and they provided the milk for the milkshakes and were part of the panel for the discussion – we stayed in touch and are very proud to now be supporting this local business by using their milk in the Stove café.
Also presented through the Stove Food Strand so far have been:
- The Lunchbox – film screening and practical demonstration about the health properties of spices presented by local restaurant Daksh
- Vanishing of the Bees – film screening and presentation by local beekeepers
- Chinese food cooking demonstration presented by Dumfries and Galloway Multicultural Association
Coming soon we have:
- Norwegian Food Market in Fountain Square – part of our Norway House project that explores historical links between Dumfries and Norway
- Incredible Edible Seed Share Day
- Doughnut Jam – an outdoor food education project that uses sugary foods as fuel to cook healthy meals
- Resistance Recipes – film screening and discussion with specially prepared Palestinian food
- Creative Food workshop presented by the Stove’s blueprint100 group in association with the Usual Place.
All this is just the beginning, there is much more in the pipeline – if you have ideas for food-based projects that you would like to help happen at The Stove or would just like to be involved in this area of work please do get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Stove Food Strand is also supported by the Robertson Trust as well as through profits generated by The Stove Café.
Extensive consultation around the vision for Stove food strand and the cafe was led by Open Jar Collective during 2014/15 – details here