Jamie Sadler is the founder of Harissa Kitchen, a popular eastern Mediterranean and north African eatery in Sandyford, Newcastle.
The idea of combining a vibrant restaurant, offering superb food, service and ambience, with a social enterprise has always been a dream for Sadler. So as well as celebrating foodie accolades, such as a top rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association and a place in The Good Food Guide 2020, Harissa Kitchen doubles as a social enterprise that helps to fuel his other passion, Food Nation CIC. Sadler founded and runs the community organisation designed to inspire local people to live a healthier lifestyle on a low budget and improve their wellbeing through food.
It achieves this by providing practical and innovative food-education activities for the public, schools and businesses in Newcastle and Gateshead.
Now in its fourth year, the restaurant had been going from strength to strength. So when the UK imposed the national lockdown, Sadler was devastated, and understandably concerned about the future of the restaurant, his staff and the communities he serves. “Protecting the business was, of course, paramount – but we’re also a business that helps our local communities,” he says. “We knew there was going to be a sudden and increased demand for support, so we had to pick ourselves up and refocus our efforts – that’s why we launched Harissa Kitchen Food Rescue.”
Using the dormant facilities at Harissa Kitchen, #HarissaKitchenFoodRescue brought together a team of volunteers, from trained chefs to delivery drivers, who prepare nutritionally balanced meals and deliver them directly to those in need as a result of Covid-19.