Healthy fast-food chain Freshly Chopped’s has opened its flagship outlet in Donegall Square West, with franchise owner and foodservice giant Mount Charles pledging to donate surplus food to homeless people in the city.
Mount Charles will partner with The Welcome Organisation, a Belfast-based charity that provides a range of potentially life-saving services to people affected by homelessness, to distribute unused food from Freshly Chopped every night.
Speaking as Freshly Chopped opened its doors in Donegall Square West for the first time, Head of Sales & Marketing at Mount Charles, Gavin Annon said: “As a foodservice company operating across UK & Ireland, we of course feel a big responsibility to minimise food waste wherever possible.
“This new commitment with The Welcome Centre will mean that no good quality, fresh produce from Freshly Chopped that could be eaten will go to waste. We know that homelessness in Belfast is a serious issue and we’re glad to play a small part in helping feed people in real need.”
Sandra Moore, Chief Executive of The Welcome Organisation, said: “We would like to thank everyone at Freshly Chopped & Mount Charles for their support of The Welcome Organisation. We couldn’t deliver the level of service we do for people affected by homelessness without the support of the public and the support of our local businesses.
“By donating food, Freshly Chopped will be helping us feed some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. The food will be used in our Drop-in Centre, were we provide meals, tea and coffee, showers, laundry services and much more to up to 100 people every day of the year.
“As well as our Drop-in Centre we also have a Street Outreach service – our Outreach team is on the streets of the city 17 hours a day from 7am-2am every day. We also provide Crisis Accommodation for Women, a Floating Support service for people who have been homeless but have now found accommodation and our Welcome Home furniture and arts project.
“The support from Mount Charles and Freshly Chopped will allow The Welcome Organisation to continue delivering it's potentially life-saving, on-the-ground support to some of the 18,000 people who present as homeless every year in Northern Ireland.”
The flagship Freshly Chopped store opening in Donegall Square West follows the successful launch of the outlet at Ulster University’s Belfast campus in October. There will be six high-end stores opened in total over the next three years, creating around 150 jobs in total.
Gavin Annon continued: “We are delighted with how well received our outlets at Ulster University, Belfast and Donegall Square West have been so far – the ‘create your own salad’ experience where over 90 ingredients are chopped and dressed into salad bowls or wraps, are going down a storm with students, shoppers and the local business community. Our pre order and collect service is especially popular among busy professionals and students, on the go.
“The next stage of the Freshly Chopped expansion in Northern Ireland will be the opening of a new store in Belfast International Airport in early 2019. The brand has already proven to be an excellent investment for us, as we strive to deliver customers the greatest possible range of choice, quality and value when it comes to our foodservice offering across the Mount Charles portfolio,” he finished.
Freshly Chopped was developed to meet the needs of the growing number of Irish consumers who want a great tasting meal that is healthy, delicious, and fresh. Full calories are counted for each salad, wrap and sandwich and Freshly Chopped offers a delivery, collection, take-away and dine-in service, with fast meal service times.