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Lovage Project

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14 Oct 2020

Lovage Project

Lovage Project is a plant-based, zero waste, not for profit social enterprise café based in Vauxhall Garden Community Centre open since Sept. 2019. For head chef Iga, Vauxhall is a special place for many reasons.

“Vauxhall is the place I have worked within for a long time. First as a chef at the Bonnington Cafe for 15 years and now with Lovage Project just off Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. When I first came to London I was house sharing nearby. We would go to Covent Garden Market to ask the stallholders if we could have the surplus veggies and that was the start of my career as a chef!
We had enough food to cook 2 or 3 times a day for everyone who lived in our open house. London and Vauxhall were different places then, more underground”.

Lovage Project is a plant-based, zero waste, not for profit social enterprise café based in Vauxhall Garden Community Centre open since Sept. 2019. For head chef Iga, Vauxhall is a special place for many reasons. 
 
“Vauxhall is the place I have worked within for a long time. First as a chef at the Bonnington Café for 15 years and now with Lovage Project just off Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. When I first came to London I was house-sharing nearby. We would go to Covent Garden Market to ask the stallholders if we could have the surplus veggies and that was the start of my career as a chef! 

We had enough food to cook 2 or 3 times a day for everyone who lived in our open house. London and Vauxhall were different places then, more underground”.
 
It’s not hard to guess the part of the neighbourhood that holds the most special place in her heart. “Oh, 100% the Pleasure Gardens; with all its history, the city farm with goats and llamas right in the middle of the city. Wonderful. It’s a place to go for a 15 minute break, or relax after work.

A close second is the Harleyford Road Community Gardens. It’s almost a secret garden, with lots of places to hide to enjoy its charm and calmness”. 

It’s impossible not to talk about the surreal year that is 2020, and it has been a mixture of good and bad in equal measure for the team at Lovage. “The lockdown for us was crazy busy at our beautiful café. We created a crowdfunding page and began cooking for the staff at King’s College Hospital twice a week”. 

The team’s incredible work was supported by the London Emergency Foundation, meaning they could help even more people who were struggling during the period. “We cooked for another 10 weeks making 300 to 500 meals per week supporting street kitchens for the homeless such as Buses For Homeless and Brixton Soup Kitchen, plus delivering food for less fortunate families, whose children attend St. George’s school in Nine Elms, Vauxhall. Almost no companies were delivering food to us so this meant daily visits to Tesco in Kennington Lane and many trips to Brixton Market. It was a huge challenge but we got through it and we are deeply grateful we could provide food for those who needed it”.
 
The work doesn’t stop for the team though. “We are hoping the future will be good for us. We have reopened our café and we are having conversations with organisations in Lambeth. We are looking forward to operating as a training kitchen, organising workshops and inviting amazing chefs in for pop-up events”.
 
There is plenty more to come from the team at Lovage Project so support local business when you can and stop by for a visit!

“Vauxhall is the place I have worked within for a long time. First as a chef at the Bonnington Cafe for 15 years and now with Lovage Project just off Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. When I first came to London I was house sharing nearby. We would go to Covent Garden Market to ask the stallholders if we could have the surplus veggies and that was the start of my career as a chef!
We had enough food to cook 2 or 3 times a day for everyone who lived in our open house. London and Vauxhall were different places then, more underground”.

It’s not hard to guess the part of the neighbourhood that holds the most special place in her heart. “Oh, 100% the Pleasure Gardens; with all its history, the city farm with goats and llamas right in the middle of the city. Wonderful. It’s a place to go for a 15 minute break, or relax in after work.
A close second is the Harleyford Road Community Gardens. It’s almost a secret garden, with lots of places to hide to enjoy its charm and calmness”.

It’s impossible not to talk about the surreal year that is 2020, and it has been a mixture of good and bad in equal measure for the team at Lovage. “The lockdown for us was crazy busy at our beautiful café. We created a crowdfunding page and began cooking for the staff at King’s College Hospital twice a week”. The team’s incredible work was supported by the London Emergency Foundation, meaning they could help even more people who were struggling during the period. “We cooked for another 10 weeks making 300 to 500 meals per week supporting street kitchens for the homeless such as Buses For Homeless and Brixton Soup Kitchen, plus delivering food for less fortunate families, whose children attend St. George’s school in Nine Elms, Vauxhall. Almost no companies were delivering food to us so this meant daily visits to Tesco in Kennington Lane and many trips to Brixton Market. It was a huge challenge but we got through it and we are deeply grateful we could provide food for those who needed it”.

The work doesn’t stop for the team though. “We are hoping the future will be good for us. We have reopened our cafe and are having conversations with organisations in Lambeth. We are looking forward to starting operating as a training kitchen, organising workshops and inviting amazing chefs in for pop-up events”.

There is plenty more to come from the team at Lovage Project so support local business when you can and stop by for a visit!