Good Stuff Kiosk is opening its hatch next week, and the offering will be unlike anything else available at the Aberdeen beachfront.
Founded by 26-year-old Charlotte-Jayne Ray, the unit – purchased last May – is a conscious community kitchen based on the north end of the beach.
It will serve a range of dishes created (almost) entirely from unloved goods rescued from various sources. This includes reduced food sections, unsold vegetables from local farms, donated items, and more.
Good Stuff Kiosk officially opens on Wednesday, February 14.
Its opening hours will be 8.30am to 3pm Wednesday to Sunday. However, these hours will extend in the coming months as the weather improves.
‘Food waste is a big part of ethos’ at Good Stuff Kiosk
The meat-free menu will be updated daily depending on the season, weather and what items are in surplus.
Customers can stay in the loop regarding menu changes via the Good Stuff Kiosk Instagram page.
Options include porridge bowls (with a variety of toppings to choose from), more than 25 herbal teas, hotpots, toasties and ‘pay as you feel’ soups.
Charlotte, who lives in the city centre with her husband Craig and their dog Pixie, said: “I want everyone, despite their circumstances, to be able to enjoy something at the kiosk.
“If people are struggling in their current circumstances or sleeping rough, there’ll be a hot bowl of soup waiting for you.
“There will also be a small food bank, book swap and local arts for sale.”
The kiosk owner is encouraging people to donate food items so she can “turn it into something delicious for folk to enjoy.”
From travelling the globe whilst working at sea to volunteering, here’s what inspired the concept
Charlotte – born in Portsmouth – has been working in hospitality since the age of 14, gaining experience in various restaurants and cafes.
At 18, she decided to follow in her dad Brian and her brother’s footsteps and began working at sea, becoming vegetarian just before.
The teen worked on a superyacht, before moving to merchant shipping and passenger ferries.
Then, Charlotte landed her then “dream job” on an environment research vessel that sailed all over the world.
She adds: “I was a chef on board for five years and I really loved it. I met Craig while I was working there and had some incredible experiences.
“I got to explore and develop my skills in the cuisine that I was most passionate about – meat-free, highly nutritious and healthy food that doesn’t skip out on flavour.”
Regarding the location of Good Stuff Kiosk, the food truck owner went on to say: “Having grown up by and worked on the sea for so many years I can barely be away from it for a day.
“I walk my dog down the front every single day. And I knew that looking out at the ocean all day would make me very happy.”
During her time off from being at sea, Charlotte volunteered for various organisations. This included Sea Shepherd and local food banks.
Charlotte talks finding her purpose, and eagerness to make an impact at new kiosk
“Every time I went back to my job I was really reminded of the huge food waste problem that stretches through all the branches of hospitality,” she says.
“I had noticed it during my time as a waitress but working at sea, even on a seemingly eco conscious vessel, highlighted the sheer amount of good food that is wasted on a daily basis.
“And this was relatively small scale compared to cruise ships and container ships.
“The shipping industry doesn’t seem to be even remotely interested in having healthy environmental or humanitarian practices and I knew this wasn’t something I wanted to represent.
“So, I left my job to be shore based and set up something that would, even on a small level, make a positive impact in my city at least.”
The 26-year-old is “looking forward” to being creative with her dishes at Good Stuff Kiosk and playing her part in tackling the ongoing issue of food waste.
She added: “I don’t want to just be another business trying to make money, I want to tackle a big problem we face everywhere in the UK, not just in Aberdeen.
“I am excited to make an impact, however small.”