Waste Not Want Not brings hope to the high street

A restaurant with a people first ethos is coming to High Street, Newport. 

Trevor Blaney, of the Pop Up Soup Kitchen project has turned his hand to a more permanent premises.

Waste Not Want Not will be a charity restaurant that doesn’t feel like a charity at all.

Trev’s vision for the three storey property starts with a ground floor dining space, featuring upcycled mismatch furniture “that looks like I’ve been down Lynnbottom Tip”, matched up with smart table cloths and fine cuisine – all made with food approaching its sell by date donated free from supermarkets.

Trevor Blaney outside the High Street restaurant

That’s just the first stage of his vision.

“Forget Sunday school, you’re going to soup school,” laughs Trevor the way only a northerner can. “Young people seem to have forgotten how to cook – that’s why we’ll have classes in here, starting with how to make a chicken soup from just the carcass.

“Young people seem to think chicken comes in a bucket with eight legs – I want to change that.”

Trevor wants to educate people and help those in food poverty, “because everybody needs a leg up”.

The native south Yorkshireman explains he wants to help those who have to make a choice between feeding their child or keeping the house warm.

Trevor with his upcycled menu board

He gets so much fresh produce, he plans to fill giant freezers with frozen ready meals that he’ll sell at low price at around 40 pence for a single meal and slightly more a family sized portion.

He wants to raise the bar, not just for charity shops, but for the High Street as a whole.

He explains: “I think we need it, it’s not that charity shops are bad, I just want to move people away from the stigma around them, we’ve got people that won’t use charity shops even if they need them. I know one lady in a million pound house, all paid for, but she has to sell her own furniture to get by – and she won’t use a charity shop.”

Waste Not Want Not

Trevor wants customers to feel like they’re in a restaurant – not a charity cafe – bringing something to the high street that raises the profile of the area, a place people actually want to go to.

Serving dishes made from would-be waste, he smiles when he says they’ll have a “soup of the hour, because you never what’s going to come through the door”.

The restaurant plans to open in roughly three weeks as a registered charity, with plans for professional debt counselling on the floor above and who knows what else on the third floor.

This is one to watch for Newport and maybe even Ryde if it takes off.