Stepping Stones in Norwich is more than just a great café
Stepping Stones café in the heart of Norwich city centre is more than just a place to eat great food, it is a thriving social enterprise as well. Keith Morris reports.
As part of YMCA Norfolk’s Norwich Central accommodation facility, right next to Norwich Bus Station, Stepping Stones provides training and catering skills for young people.
Under the supervision of manager Julie Brown, the café has helped to transform the lives of vulnerable young people locally by providing real life work experience, training, skills and links into employment. Many have gone on to work in other well-known local restaurants.
Julie said: “Many young people come into the YMCA’s supported housing because of homelessness, chaotic backgrounds, family breakdown and other difficult and complex circumstances. This has often affected their education and ability to move forward in their career pathways. Through our training and skills social enterprise we are able to help some of them acquire the skills and experience to develop a career in catering.”
But of course, the main reason for the café is to provide great food and drink to customers, which it has been doing for six years now.
Whether you are looking for an all-day breakfast, a tasty lunch special, or a Panini, home-made soup or jacket potato to eat in or take out, Stepping Stones is the place to go.
Chef Nathan and his team cook three different daily specials such as home-made lasagne and salad (pictured below), pork sweet chilli noodles with stir-fry veg and chicken tikka masala, rice and naan bread, all at £6.50. Slimmers’ selections are also always available.
For those needing a quick bite to eat in or take out, a sandwich/baguette, crisps and drink meal deal is available at just £3.75.
Other quick options include hot baguettes and Paninis, jacket potatoes with various fillings and home-made soup of the day with a baguette.
A popular choice is, of course, the all-day breakfast with sausage, egg, bacon, baked beans, grilled tomato, mushrooms, toast and a hot drink for £5.75. A breakfast baguette and vegetarian options are also available.
A bite to eat
Keith says: “When I dropped into the café for a quick working lunch, I chose a bacon and egg baguette (pictured right), which came with a small dressed salad and some crisps. The bacon was nicely cooked and the eggs runny in the middle, just as I like them. It was also served within a short space of time, so no hanging around feeling hungry. The cost was a reasonable £4.55."
On the menu
All day full English breakfast £5.75
Hot breakfast baguette £4.60
Meal deal £3.75
Home-made soup £4.20
Daily hot specials £6.50
Paninis: from £5.40
Jacket potatoes: from £4.50
8.00am to 3.30pm Monday to Saturday.
Opposite Norwich Bus Station, Surrey Street, Norwich
Nathan’s team also offer a menu for business lunches and breakfast brunches including buffets with sandwiches, finger food platters, cakes and fruit.