Josh Littlejohn is serving up a delicious blend of coffee shops and social mission with his chain of cafes, Social Bite.
Based in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and with plans to open in Dundee, Social Bite is a ‘social business’ where 100% of the profits go to various charities, and 25% of the workforce is made up of formerly homeless people.
The chain also operates a ‘suspended’ coffee and food programme where customers can pay for a hot drink or food for a homeless person. It works by accruing loyalty points to enable the purchase of a free meal and hot drink for a homeless person by customers who have made ten visits to the cafe. The cafe and its business model gained international fame when George Clooney visited in November 2015.
Josh’s ambition is to prove this economic model can work on the high street and compete on a level with multi-national brands, while staying true to the social mission.
In March, Social Bite launched a craft beer in partnership with Brewdog that will donate 100% of its profits to clean water projects.
He also founded The Scottish Business Awards, which has become the largest and most prestigious business event in the UK. Last year, more than 2,000 business leaders representing more than £100 billion turnover attended the ceremony. Speakers have included: Sir Richard Branson, President Bill Clinton, Sir Bob Geldof and Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus.