Sodexo to support Social Bite’s bid to end homelessness through Book Festival partnership

Event catering specialist, Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events has teamed up with social enterprise sandwich shop chain, Social Bite to support their fight against homelessness at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, this August.

Published 3rd Aug 2017
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

In its fifth year of providing food and drink to literary fans, authors and speakers at the capital’s event in Charlotte Square Gardens, Sodexo has partnered with the not-for-profit caterer to provide sandwiches and salad boxes.

As part of the partnership, Sodexo will donate 50p from the sale of each sandwich and salad, which will go directly to the Social Bite fund.

The partnership will see staff at Social Bite’s Livingston production kitchen produce 7,000 handmade sandwiches and 1,400 salad boxes, to be served across the Spiegeltent, Signing Tent and Bookshop Café.

The socially conscious group, which runs five sandwich shops in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow, was set up by philanthropist Josh Littlejohn to help stop homelessness.

A quarter of its staff come from homeless backgrounds. Sodexo is using this opportunity to champion a local social enterprise and support its efforts to create a village in the capital for homeless people, helping them break the vicious cycle of life on the streets and introducing stability to their lives again.

Picture: Left to right: Charlotte Turner, Head of Corporate Catering at Social Bite; Connor Wilson, Team Member at Social Bite Shandwick Place; Sandy Robson, Account Director at Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events, courtesy of Stewart Attwood

Sandy Robson, Account Director at Sodexo Prestige Venues and Events said: “Social Bite has an amazing ethos and is a cause we are proud to support.

"This new partnership will only enhance our offering, while allowing us to give back to a worthwhile community initiative.

“From our base in South Queensferry, we’ve been bringing quality, locally sourced food and drink to The Edinburgh International Book Festival since 2013.

"Last year over 230,000 attended the literary event and were able to enjoy a range of freshly prepared menu items across our bars and cafes at the site.

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"Our focus again this year is on quality, freshly made savoury and sweet options that will appeal to the large audience attending the event.

"I’m so pleased that we’re able to partner with Social Bite to deliver this and support their work in the city.”

Charlotte Turner, Head of Corporate Catering at Social Bite said: “Social Bite is delighted to be partnering with Sodexo for the Book Festival.

"August is an important month for us as it marks our 5th birthday. It is amazing to see how far we have come since opening the doors of our first shop on Rose Street in 2012.

“We are extremely happy that Sodexo has given us such a wonderful opportunity to show not only the quality of the food we produce, but also highlight the even more important aim of our mission to tackle the root causes of homelessness and work towards eradicating it.”

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Sodexo provides all on site food and beverage facilities at the annual event which includes cafes, bars, hospitality spaces and VIP areas.

Alongside the Social Bite partnership, this year’s offering at The Edinburgh International Book Festival includes cakes and tray bakes produced by Sodexo’s in-house bakers at their kitchens in South Queensferry.

Over the 18 days the event site is open festival goers are expected to enjoy over 15,000 sweet treats with highlights including rhubarb and custard creams, coconut and raspberry slice and gingerbread loaf.

The caterer also prides itself on its existing local supply chain and will use produce sourced from a number of Edinburgh based suppliers including Patisserie Joldo, Stewart Brewing, Vegware and Vino wines.

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There is also an exciting new tie in with Edinburgh Gin who will be sponsoring the event with Sodexo operating a gin bar on their behalf within the site.

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