Not-for-profit cafe to open in Central Milton Keynes
Namji’s Desi Cafe – opening on June 11 at Acorn House, MK Community Foundation House – is a not-for-profit eatery that will be run by Naseem Khan for the community.
For the past 10 years restaurateur Naseem has been serving up food to those in need – giving away hundreds of hot meals to families and individuals in Milton Keynes every week.
“Naseem and her charity have enabled me to continue supporting residents,” said Bianca Bendig-Ceesay, town councillor for Fullers Slade. “Her assistance has been vital when I have been working with homeless people.
“Hot food is a luxury when you are living on the street or are placed in temporary accommodation without cooking facilities.
“Receiving freshly prepared hot food is such a moral boost for the many who benefit from her help.”
But now the owner of Namji – which has branches in Xscape in CMK and Wolverton – is taking things one step further with the launch of this new cafe in the heart of the city.
Diners will be able to donate a ‘suspended meal’ to provide a homeless person with a hot meal – an easy way to do something positive in our community.
“It is about giving back to Milton Keynes,” said Naseem, “I want a place where every diner can sit down to enjoy their food without question. Having a hot meal is a basic human right – no one, least of all a child, should sleep on an empty stomach,” she added. “I am doing this for my love of Allah – my religion teaches us to be charitable and I fully subscribe to that.”
The cafe will open between 8am and 5pm seven days a week, serving a delicious menu of popular Punjabi street food including samosa chaat, chana chaat, masala chips and curries – vegan and vegetarian options will be available.
“I have wanted to realise this dream for a long time and I am so pleased to finally be able to turn it into reality,” Naseem said, “The Desi Cafe will be a place for everyone to call their own and where everyone can feel at home.
“I want to give accessibility to more communities, including those who are struggling during this cost of living crisis, which has had a devastating effect on so many.
“I want it to be a place for the elderly, for the homeless, for mother and children groups, for breakfast clubs, for friends and families… a place where everyone can enjoy affordable, nutritious food.”
The ‘giving back’ ethos will extend to those working there – Namji Desi Cafe will provide people with work experience to enhance their skills and allow them to gain confidence.
“It’s a not-for-profit cafe with the profits going straight back into supporting the community; to support homelessness projects, to help women with further education and so on.
“Times are tough for many people, and I believe those of us who are in more fortunate positions have an obligation to do what we can to help – Namji Desi Cafe is the place where we can all work together to achieve great things,” Naseem promised.
For more information visit www.namji.uk