A green oasis on a stretch of Northdown Road in Cliftonville marks the new home of a Thanet food and education project that was initially started during lockdown.
Kitchen Social & Cookery Club, founded by Lucy Gray in 2020, supports low income households, runs an over 50s cookery club and provides holiday camps and activities for children.
A team of volunteers and part-time staff collect and redistribute food and surplus waste across Thanet alongside providing culinary training.
The project, which was initially based in Broadstairs and then at the Rendezvous restaurant building in Cliftonville, now has new premises at 131 Northdown Road.
And the food and nature element at The Green Kitchen starts before you even get through the door with scores of little herb buckets on either side of the premises and a green ‘living wall’ above the door and windows.
Inside there are two green spaces, with wildlife figures and models of Lucy’s dogs Hamish and Haggis.
There is a space for talks, ‘booth’ areas, shop area, kitchen and more herbs at the rear of the property.
There is also art, a wall displaying scales and a milk churn and on the counter a Victorian cash till.
Lucy said: “The focus is on healthy eating, wellbeing and climate change. We are linking with Canterbury Christ Church University and in November they will be here giving a talk on Victorian cookery and members can have a free lesson. There is a sustainable and environmental theme, it’s about learning and is for all the things I am passionate about with food and being healthy and people connecting.”
Lucy hopes people will pick some fresh herbs for their cooking as they pass the shop and says she also aims to get the whole of Thanet eating red peppers by using them to make Aivar which is packed with antioxidants.
The green areas at the front of the store are aimed at allowing people to destress and Lucy says they are particularly calming for youngsters.
Lucy says The Green Kitchen is an inclusive community hub and will run a number of clubs.
Mondays 2pm-4pm – Over 50s with cookery and afternoon teas and education-driven events
Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 4pm-6pm, children’s club with cookery and a meal and sessions looking at areas like plastic pollution and climate change – no more than 20 youngsters to a session
Thursdays and Fridays, 3pm-7pm, community shop and takeaway.
Lucy said: “We don’t run out of food and people can do a full shop. People need to register as a member. We have 575 members and 90 active who come and do their weekly shop.
“You can’t learn unless you’ve eaten properly and connecting is really crucial.”
A pre-launch held today was attended by guests including Margate’s deputy mayor Cllr John Edwards, ward councillor Alan Currie….and a leprechaun!
The Green Kitchen officially opens on Thursday (September 14) from 3pm to 7pm.
Weekly discounted food shop
2 x free dinners every year
Priority booking for clubs
20% discount on course fees
1 x free class every year
Since opening in 2020, the Kitchen Social Team, have provided ingredients to make over 85,000 home cooked meals across Thanet; taught new skills to more than 350 children through a cookery class, an arts club and nature learning at holiday camps; trained and created part-time employment for over 45 people and taught some 120 over 50’s to cook.
More information and registration details at: