We recently spoke to the team behind the city’s Pending Coffee scheme, and they told us about Kym from Italia Uno on Ecclesall Road, who is running an amazing pending pizza scheme, feeding vulnerable and homeless people in Sheffield. Here’s what Kym had to say.
Tell me a little about the history of Italia Uno – how long have you been preparing takeaway Italian food for the people of Sheffield?
My passion for Italian food started when I was 12 whilst working in the family restaurant in 1993 – Dino’s Restaurant on London Road, now Zeugma. At 17 I moved to Leeds to attend university and went off to work in sales and marketing. 2 years ago I moved back to Sheffield. I was bored of ordering a takeaway and the only options available were greasy and unhealthy. So I decided to open Italia Uno with the ethos of good home cooked, healthy, tasty restaurant quality food that you can eat in the comfort of your own home in your pj’s if you fancy! I also wanted to created a great working environment and a business where I could give back to the community. Since opening we have grown and grown and are constantly driving hard to a more organic menu. Currently we are 40% organic, completely GMO free and 70% of our stock is imported from Italy.
We understand that you have ‘pending pizza’ on your menus – how does the scheme work, and where do donated pizzas go?
Pending Pizza’s started when I met Jennie & John and they were running the Pending Coffee scheme. When we signed up we were getting more donations than we were takers for the coffees, I think it was mainly due to the fact we are situated outside of the city centre. So I decided to grab a team of people and we started taking the coffees into town. I quickly built relationships with some of the rough sleepers and knew I had to do more. So I sent out Facebook requests for more donations and quickly we received enough money to be able to take out 10 pizzas. Since the summer of 2016 the scheme has grown and we now take out waterproof clothing, sleeping bags, water, ladies garments and sanitary products all, donated by the public.
What does the future look like for the scheme – are you hoping to expand to offer more pending items, or partner up with other independent restaurants and cafes in the city?
We work very closely with local businesses such as The Doggy Den & Jonny’s Apothecary and local volunteers who regularly come out on the drops with me. In the future we have plans to run events to raise money for the scheme, but also to help the rough sleepers with other things they may need such as rehabilitation and detoxing from addictions. This is something the three of us are planning for 2018, so watch this space.
How can SheffGives followers get involved and lend their support to your scheme?
We are always looking for donations and there are many ways in which people can donate:
- Visit us in the shop (at Banner Cross on Ecclesall Road) and pay cash over the counter.
- Give us a call and donate using your card on 0114 4535079
- Donate via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Or using the app to donate – simply search ‘Italia Uno Sheffield’ in the App Store, download and donate.
Really it’s all as easy as that!
And finally, what’s your favourite pizza of all time?
As a vegan my favourite pizza is definitely our Pulled Pork Pizza made with organic jack fruit…so tasty!
*Sounds incredible, Kym – we’ll be calling in to sample one of those very soon!!
*Photographs courtesy of Italia Uno