The Seafood Social serves up food with a social conscience

Laura Whittle, who had the idea to launch The Seafood Social at Scarborough Market Hall. Friday 4 August. Picture: Ceri Oakes
Laura Whittle, who had the idea to launch The Seafood Social at Scarborough Market Hall. Friday 4 August. Picture: Ceri Oakes

A Yorkshire firm plans to create a chain of seafood cafes around the country to support worthy causes.

Whitby Seafood is putting the finishing touches to its new social enterprise cafe in Scarborough, The Seafood Social.

The Rainbow Centre, a local charity that supports the homeless and long term unemployed, will receive all the profits from the new venture. Laura Whittle, the director of Whitby Seafoods, said the company was inspired to open a new social café after she volunteered at The Rainbow Centre in Scarborough.

She believes the new cafe provides an opportunity for the company to give something back to the community.

Ms Whittle said: “Our values as a family business embrace social responsibility.

“We support The Fishermen’s Mission, but we felt that we could also do more to help people in Scarborough.

“The Rainbow Centre plays a vital role and does such important work that we wanted to help them.”

The Seafood Social’s ambition is to create a chain of social enterprise seafood cafes across the UK, with all the profits going to support social action charities.

The cafes will provide support, wages and training to people who have been unable to find work due to issues such as homelessness, poverty, substance misuse or a criminal record.

Ms Whittle decided to base the first cafe in Scarborough, because the town has the highest unemployment rate in North Yorkshire.

“The calibre of people that we have working here at the café is brilliant.

“They are motivated and grateful for this new start” she said.

Two Scarborough residents, Dean Bradley and Angie Wilson will help to run The Seafood Social.

Mr Bradley has been unemployed for long periods of time and volunteers at The Rainbow Centre.

He is now going to college and has taken part in food hygiene and safety courses.

He is also learning about business management, social media and customer care. The Seafood Social, which is based on the upper mezzanine in Scarborough Market Hall, is due to welcome its first customers on August 14.