Our organisation is a Social Enterprise masquerading as a Cafe/Lunch Restaurant & Deli in an affluent suburb in Lilongwe – Malawi’s capital city. Don’t let the ‘affluent suburb’ put you off the idea of doing a work away experience with us – because we are MUCH MORE than just a place that provides great food and drinks to affluent people. I promise.
One of numerous eateries in Lilongwe, WE ARE ENTIRELY UNIQUE IN THAT WE ARE A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE and wanting to do more than provide great food and service, and it's in promoting the community work we do that we are looking for your help - not to be an additional waiter or chef! I already have an amazing team in place, from starting alone I now employ 15 people, all from Malawi - 6 chefs, 1 porter, 1 driver, 1 manager, 2 gardeners and 3 guards as well as me. The team are dedicated and are part of the family; as a team we are all learning and growing as we go.
We NEED YOUR HELP WITH GETTING OUR VISION AND MISSION ACROSS TO CUSTOMERS THROUGH ONLINE DEVELOPMENT - telling the full story of what we do - so that people know the work behind the scenes of the Cafe & Deli.
I, Filly, managing director, was born and grew up in Malawi (second generation from Portuguese descent). I have a degree and masters in Development Studies, Social Work and Sociology from UCT in Cape Town, South Africa and lived in the UK for over 8 years before moving back to Malawi with my husband 10 years ago. Our business model is built from a spirit of combined passions. Love for food, art, people, community, wanting to be part of developing Malawi, helping individuals grow and fulfill their fullest potential, and a love for the land we live on. I firmly believe that attitudes and aspirations which are followed by actions, no matter how small, make a difference. I believe that that everyone should be given similar opportunities to build dreams and ambition, and that we play a role in supporting each other and helping each other grow. Everyone has something they can offer to another.
I want to share our space, and opportunities associated with it, with gifted, talented, marginalised and ambitious individuals seeking the next thing in their lives, or in the lives of others. These individuals have ranged from and include my dedicated team, suppliers (farmers and entrepreneurs), artists and refugees. In the same vein, I feel I have so much to gain and learn and am grateful to everyone who has experiences and knowledge to share.
I love business and being an entrepreneur but it’s never been enough to just run a business to make a profit. Our enterprise was born from a belief that through INTENTIONAL DECISION MAKING a business can be (and should be) more than just a business for business sake. Businesses can (and should) promote individuals and worthy causes WHILE making a profit.
The essence of this belief has been translated into action and attitude in the way we nurture our team members and our suppliers but is falling short in the translation of our values and vision into words and clear and direct communication for our customers. When we were smaller, and pre-COVID – we had more time to chat to each customer and share this vision and messaging, but as we have slowly grown and our physical layout and business model for service provision had to change, it becomes harder to talk to each person and share the vision, while also providing the service they come to the café and deli for. AND THIS IS WHY WE ARE LOOKING FOR A WORK AWAY TO JOIN OUR TEAM FOR A PERIOD OF TIME – TO HELP US WITH OUR COMMUNICATION AND MESSAGING: to let customers know about our ETHOS, that we are a SOCIAL ENTERPRISE and that their purchases and decisions positively and directly affect other people and our earth. We want them to know that we intentionally make decisions based on more than financial gain. The message around WHY we do what we do is not as strong as I would like and sometimes missed – and I want this to be as central to people as their food and drink are. I want everyone to know more about our values, the farmers, SMEs, projects and suppliers we support, information and stories about these projects and people, the ‘connected human shared experiences’ through food, and the inter-connectedness between farmers/suppliers/consumers(customers) and the earth. I need ALL our customers to know that when they buy and support us they are part of a greater vision and that we are working towards certain objectives.
Measuring the success of our business is more than just balancing the books, but also about actualizing and fulfilling the ethos, vision and objectives.
Our business in intended to be a springboard for growth and opportunity – for employees, Malawian suppliers (SMEs – Small to Medium Sized Enterprises), local and refugee Creatives, as well as for our customers. It’s a tall ask with a broad spectrum but we believe we can do this, and have been doing so for the last 4 years we have had our doors open.
Seeing the world through more than just the lens of business and financial success, we want to nurture and improve the livelihoods of those we employ, our community, and those who interact with us. We also want to support, partner and work with those doing a project or business whose vision is also to help others and make a positive difference, to people and the earth/environment.
On the wall inside the deli, our objectives are painted in a catchy diagram for everyone to see: Test Kitchen, Fast Kitchen, Support Local, Develop Malawi, Nurture Staff and be Kind to Our Earth.
Test Kitchen – Experimental, adventurous and ever-changing. Customers don’t get bored of our menu and our staff are continually learning and growing in skills.
We like to test different recipes, and not stick to only a couple. We want to get to know the myriad of Malawian foods that many don’t know anything about or are afraid of because of ignorance. We want to celebrate traditional Malawian food and dishes, as well as be innovative and make fusion food with Malawian produce in a variety of different cuisines.
Fast Kitchen – Fresh Food Fast is our moto, and we deliver on it. Food is best when it is hot, fresh and on time.
Support Local – Buy Malawian. We have developed a selection of reliable suppliers to deliver their produce to us to ensure fresh, fairly sourced produce.
We want to support local produce, farmers and entrepreneurs because intentional buying also directly affects local livelihoods as well as decreasing the environmental footprint we make on our earth. If there is a good quality local option then always buy that before buying import.
Develop Malawi – Pulling together all aspects of our ethos – buying local, building our local economy, being thoughtful to our environment, developing the skills of our team and striving to create positive energy and living in the Warm Heart.
Nurture Staff – Supporting, training and developing the Team is a core focus of our daily operations to ensure everyone can reach their potential through the opportunities they are opened to. Each staff member has goals and is supported through their work to achieve these.
Be Kind to our Earth – We consistently and consciously strive to reduce, reuse, recycle, renew. In as much as we can we avoid single use plastic, despite providing food ready to go, and are always looking for alternatives and working relationships with other individuals, NGOS and SMEs who are striving to do the same or providing alternative solutions. We operate a community recycling point, showcases examples of recycling methods and actively promote reduction in waste.
Aide avec des éco-projets
Bricolage et projets de construction
Accueil / tourisme
Aide informatique / avec Internet
My husband and I have traveled to several countries on several continents- but we like to focus on less is more - instead of just 'ticking off' a place to say we have been there, we prefer to emerge ourselves a bit more in a place to get more of a 'feel' and 'understanding' of a way of life that is perhaps different to ours. This is what we would hope to offer you if you came to work away with us. The things below that we love when we travel are the things we would wish for you and what we hope you would learn about Malawi:
We love to meet people from all walks of life when we travel. Those who are poorer to those who are more affluent (and you see a stark contrast of both in Malawi). Travelers and locals and immigrants. Seeing the same place through the lens of different people living in that place is SUCH an enriching experience and you get to learn so much. How people live day to day life, what they think of the government, what food they eat and what music they listen to. What their needs are and what things you share in common and what your needs are - and everything in between.
We offer you a great way to meet and really get to talk to such a spectrum of people because of the nature of our business and wanting to meet and bring so many different people together - through food. You meet us - people who love Malawi (I was born and grew up here - my husband is from the UK) and wish only to see good for it. We are often called Expats but really we are Immigrants. You get to meet other immigrants who moved to Malawi in less fortunate circumstances - refugees. You meet our staff who are Malawian born as their parents and many generations before them were. You meet people from different tribes within Malawi and who speak different dialects and learn the differences of cultures within the same nation. You will meet poor farmers trying to make a living by selling to us, you will meet small business owners in the process of registering businesses. You will meet investors from outside Malawi with international trade and business. You will meet musicians and artists - local and international. You will meet diplomats, people working in NGOs as well as the government. You will meet other travelers who landed up staying and getting jobs here and those who are in transit. You get to experience Malawi through all of their unique perspectives, and, help many people through the greater vision of our business wanting to develop Malawi through the private sector. I am passionate about what I do and about Malawi and want you to feel the Malawi love. I'm someone who is not here on a short contract but who is a resident and who wishes to empower and grow sustainably - and we have done it slowly but slow with good foundations. We would love to have you share your skills with us, help us with our vision but also want to help you have a great personal journey too (geographically and internally as a human being who is growing and learning about yourself and others)
I am looking for someone (a single person or couple, but no children) to help me to promote the business and get financial support for the social enterprise work we are doing. We will not be asking you to help in the cafe/ deli. More details of my thinking is below:
1. DEVELOP OUR WEBSITE
Build onto and complete a website that was started by a volunteer 2 years ago, but which I have never been able to get around to finishing (because I am too stretched in staff training, menu development, procurement, HR, accounts, social media and advertising, product development and service delivery and don’t have the financial means to pay someone to do since we just about survived COVID). The intention of the website is to help with the messaging about WHY WE ARE DIFFERENT AND WHAT WE DO BEHIND THE SCENES of delivering food and drinks and hosting events. Setting up QR codes to then take people to the link which would be on dining tables would then help the mission of getting customers wot know more while eating. This would involve content writing as well as web development.
The website would:
- have a link to our online menu (this has already been made)
- have a tab that shows all of our catering services
- have a tab that shows our events that we host
- have links to all our local supplier websites (where applicable)
- have biographies for those suppliers that are too small and do not have the means to have websites etc
- have a tab to ‘meet the team’
- have a tab describing the different projects we support or that others can get involved in (examples: linking Young footballers from Ascent Soccer to Refugee artists giving lessons, Skilled Creatives giving lessons in paper making, pottery, painting, dance, musical instruments, Swap Shop – collecting plastic to make eco-bricks and turning the weight of this plastic into coupons to buy school equipment and footballs and clothes etc, Ufulu which distributes menstrual cups to women and we assist by collecting recycled tins to give away with the cups, raising funds for an orphanage, collecting second hand cameras to help refugees get photography lessons etc)
- Meet our suppliers (farmers, entrepreneurs and SMEs) to build their biographies for the website (allowing you a great way to meet a range of local Malawians in different environments, walks of life, socioeconomic backgrounds, physical spaces) These suppliers range from small scale Malawian fruit and veg farmers to larger coffee farms, and perma-culture farms outside of the city – thus allowing you to travel and get to know and see more of Malawi.
- Interview our staff and build their biographies for website
- Meet people managing and running the different Projects with support and partner with to build
their biographies for website
- Spend time in the deli /restaurant getting to really know what we do and get the feel of what we do and get to know the team
- Spend time with our garden and recycling manager to know what he does and how we waste manage
- Spend time with me (Filly) trying to summarise all the projects and things we do (Writing this for Workaway was a real start and challenge in itself but a good start ). This will also help to then have content written and web page to direct potential investors/ people interested in what we do and wanting to possibly help out in some way.
2. GRANT PROPOSALS & APPLICATIONS
Over the next year I would like to build a multipurpose room onsite next to the deli. It will serve as a room which we can rent out to affluent individuals, private and NGOs who look for conference rooms or meeting rooms. This will help increase our revenue (which is then reinvested into the community and growth of team and business).
The room would however ALSO BE USED as a safe and inspiring place for people to exchange skills and help some people be able to make an income. These people would not pay a rental fee. For example – there are refugees and local poorer Malawians who are great dancers and artists and poets and artisans who would like to give lessons and make a small income and more affluent people who like this idea and would be VERY willing to support this idea but it is hard to have space to do this at the camp, but also not practical or comfortable for people to invite them into their homes – and with limited open free spaces like parks it becomes an obstacle – we would provide a free safe space for this exchange to happen)
This room will be made from recycled and sustainable materials which we already collect and which will also serve a a visual example of sustainable creative building and hopefully inspire more people to do the same. We currently have walls built out of glass bottles and eco-bricks and have been growing bamboo for this project, and collecting materials which would otherwise have been thrown away.
Due to COVID we no longer have the finance to be able to buy the other materials we need or to pay local tradesmen to build this so I would like to apply for some grants as well as try and crowd fund to get this building into fruition.
Whoever has a work away with us would live on site, in a little self contained cottage recently refurbished and extended with 2 walls made entirely from recycled bottles. There is a bedroom, shower and toilet, living room and kitchenette. All your meals can also be from our menu or deli, but if you wish to buy your own food you also have a small fridge and cooker in your cottage to make your own.
IN YOUR FREE TIME – AS A WORK AWAY – we would offer you possible use of a car or pedal bikes to explore the urban and peri urban areas of Lilongwe (or you could use local minibuses, bicycle taxis, tuk tuks), and have so many places we could point you in the direction of depending on what you wanted to do. There are local markets to explore, great off road biking, out of town pottery and mountain hikes, there is the beautiful lake Malawi to visit on weekends. Swimming pools, golf, tennis, little cafes to just read and relax when you just want to be and not do…. Townships and villages to go to… you can experience whichever and all parts of Lilongwe you want to. Intense hustle bustle of the city and minbuses and people wanting to meet you (Malawians are SO friendly) or quiet suburbia which can give you space to breathe and focus on you when you need you time... or we are a 10 minute cycle from fields of maize and farm land you can cycle between, seeing how many local Malawians live in houses with no electricity or running water, subsistence farming. We love cycling and would also love to take you to some great sunset and sunrise spots if you wanted.
Accès Internet limité
Nous avons des animaux
Nous sommes fumeurs
We can provide you with wi-fi up to a certain amount of MG but after that you can top up your account personally. We are in the city and internet is generally always on - we have scheduled power cuts at the moment for about 6 to 8 hours a day - there is not back up power at your accomodation but you can walk 800m to the Cafe Deli where we always have power to recharge anything and have access to the internet. We have many customers who come and charge and work from there.
We have parking space and a toilet and shower you can use if you come in your own vehicle. If you wish to just park it safely and use the cottage that is also an option.
Plus de 2
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week - but also flexible to be 4 days a week