Originally located on Pinstone Street within a building that was scheduled for demolition to make way for a new development, the venue will re-open within the headquarters of online educational publishing house Twinkl on Sheffield’s foodie Ecclesall Road this August.
Founded in 2010 by chef and social entrepreneur Chris Hanson, Blend Kitchen provides hospitality training and paid work experience to vulnerable adults and marginalised groups.
The organisation also runs an outreach programme delivering culinary training and improving family health in the city’s most deprived communities.
The new ground floor location will comprise a restaurant, events space and hospitality training facility and has been made possible by a ‘significant’ cash injection by Twinkl alongside support from a number of other local businesses.
Creative agency Front has developed a new brand concept for Blend Kitchen’s new space and will be working with fellow creative agency 93ft to produce a “best in class, fully accessible and socially distanced/government guideline ready venue”.
“I’ll never forget the day I paid £10 of my own money to open our business bank account with the ambition of creating something special for my city,” says Hanson.
“Since then we have grown year on year transforming the lives of people who normally wouldn’t be given a chance by most employers, while providing a first class experience to our diners.”
“As the economy struggles in the wake of the pandemic, vulnerable adults will find it even harder to secure good quality placements and real employment opportunities, making Blend’s work even more important and necessary than ever.”
“Whether we like it or not, work gives us identity and purpose in life. To deny opportunity to someone who wants to work, because of their mental, physical or socioeconomic status, is not part of a progressive society and that needs to change.”