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Hooba Urban CIC (Community Interest Company) is a project we have set up to put something back into the community. Working with Virgin Trains East Coast and local coffee shops, we have created an opportunity for young people that helps them learn skills whilst earning money; run a business and most of all develop their self-esteem and confidence.

To make all our delicious (if we do say so ourselves) Hooba Foods, we need a good supply of a particular strain of Oyster Mushrooms, so we decided to start Hooba Urban to grow our own. We are working with a number of partners to grow mushrooms using waste used coffee grounds (that would normally go to landfill) in unused urban spaces and prisons. Our partners in the scheme collect the coffee grounds locally, we supply the mushroom spawn, and the growing happens under Newcastle Central Station in an area kindly provided by Virgin Trains East Coast, and at HM Prison Kirklevington in recycled shipping containers.

Our products only require the stems of the mushrooms, leaving the caps to be sold fresh locally, or dried and sold on our website. Hooba Foods are contracted to buy all of the stems produced, making the ventures economically viable and sustainable whilst providing training and education to the people within the prisons.

Food Nation are also very involved in the project, using Hooba Foods to help educate people about the benefits of a reduced meat and meat free diet for their personal health and also to the climate for us all.

We are looking to expand this great scheme out of the North East and would welcome the opportunity to have a chat about how you may become involved in any location across the country.

For sponsoring and partnering opportunities, please give John a call on 01325 625250, or email john@hoobafoods.com