Make a difference by patronising these cafes, markets, and stores to champion the causes supported by social enterprises in Hong Kong.
As a fast-paced city packed with sustainable fashion, healthy eateries, and vintage stores, the number of social enterprises in Hong Kong is on the rise, too – and we couldn’t be happier! From delicious food to tailor-made clothes, to healthy farm-to-table and organic produce, check out our round-up of social enterprises in Hong Kong to support everyone from the elderly to the hearing-impaired, and mental health patients.
Social enterprises in Hong Kong
1. Cafe 8
Located on the rooftop of Central Pier 8, Cafe 8 is a social enterprise founded by The Nesbitt Centre in a unique collaboration with the Hong Kong Maritime Museum. The cosy cafe was created to provide a vocational training programme and employment opportunities for students with learning disabilities, as well as those from other local NGOs and organisations. This hidden gem offers a menu packed with everything from salads and pastries to quiches, sandwiches, and pies. If you wish to eat your lunch outdoors, the viewing deck located outside the cafe offers stunning harbour views. With friendly service, free Wifi, and even wine and beers, what more could you ask for?
Cafe 8, Roof, Hong Kong Maritime Museum, Central Ferry Pier 8, Central, Hong Kong, p. 3791 2158
2. Alternative Cafe
Helmed by the NGO Youth Global Network, Alternative Cafe is a gourmet coffee and casual dining cafe seeking to provide young people with an alternative life path. Offering internships and barista training programmes for those who struggle with traditional education, the cafe helps individuals develop work ethic, character, and career planning. Stop by to sip delicious lattes and support Alternative Cafe’s commitment to providing youths who don’t fit into the mainstream education system with life and work skills.
Alternative Cafe, G/F, Breakthrough Centre, 191 Woosung Street, Jordan, Hong Kong, p. 6513 7994
3. The Nest Coffee Shop
The Nest Coffee Shop is a great place to relax with a cuppa in hand. It’s founded by The Nesbitt Centre (yep, the same as Cafe 8), which provides an English educational programme to support adults with learning difficulties. With the support of Operation Santa Claus, Uncle Russ Coffee, Pacific Coffee, and other local businesses, students participate in customer service and barista training programmes before helping out at The Nest on a part-time basis.
Open seven days a week, customers can enjoy a selection of hot and cold drinks alongside delicious pastries and snacks provided by locally sourced Eat My Cakes, Classified, and more. Satisfy your coffee (and cake!) craving at The Nest, all while supporting the community. What’s not to love?
The Nest Coffee Shop has locations in Tsim Sha Tsui and Central.
4. Flower Workshop
Established in 2002 as a social enterprise operated by the Hong Kong Federation of Handicapped Youth, Flower Workshop seeks to do good through the art of floral design. With many bouquets and floral arrangements available to purchase for weddings, festivities, or as gifts, this enterprise strives to create opportunities for people with disabilities one bud at a time. Offering employment, training, and business operation education for people living with disabilities, Flower Workshop provides valuable life skills through a beautiful practice.
Flower Workshop, Shop 14-15, G/F, Wang Kei House, Wang Tau Hom Estate, Kowloon, Hong Kong, p. 2508 1301
Farmfresh330 is a chain of healthy living shops that provide organic vegetables, organic meat, and healthy, eco-friendly products. This social enterprise is run by New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association, which provides a range of community-based rehabilitation services for people in recovery of mental illness. The produce sold at Farmfresh330 (and the affiliated Cafe330) are grown by students at The New Life Farm, without the use of chemical fertilisers or pesticides. Above all, as the only agricultural sheltered workshop in Hong Kong, Farmfresh330 not contributes to creating an ecologically balanced environment.
Farmfresh330 (農社330) has locations across Hong Kong.
6. Gingko House
Established in 2003, Gingko House is a non-profit organisation that aims to provide top-tier cuisine with the help of chefs who’ve had previous experience working in five-star restaurants. In addition to offering a wealth of delicious Chinese and classic Hong Kong-style food with the use of organic vegetables grown by the restaurant itself, the social enterprise also promotes senior employment in the hopes of relieving pensioners’ depression, and giving them a pleasant working life post-retirement. Now having expanded to include farms, cafes, and catering services, Gingko House has several branches across Hong Kong, so that you have plenty of opportunities to help out.
Gingko House (銀杏館) has locations across Hong Kong.
7. Cookie Smiles
Do you like cookies? We do! And there’s nothing better than delicious cookies that also make a positive impact on society. Established by the Edible Artists Global Academy Association (EAGAA) in 2020, Cookie Smiles is a local social enterprise that raises funds for different charities by handcrafting and selling a great selection of cookies, including strawberry snaps with strawberry drizzle, Purviz’s chocolate crunch, and even treats for dogs. The platform also offers training for disadvantaged communities and provides job opportunities for the physically impaired.
Cookie Smiles, 3/F, On Lan Centre, 11-15 On Lan Street, Central, Hong Kong, p. 9315 0077
8. La Parole
La Parole might be the classiest social enterprise restaurant you’ll find in Hong Kong. Using traditional recipes and the finest ingredients, this French restaurant aims to deliver a premium fine dining experience at an affordable price. Apart from the operating expenses, all income at La Parole is given to Benji’s Centre, a non-profit voluntary organisation that offers speech therapy services to disadvantaged children in Hong Kong. If French cuisine isn’t your cup of tea, head up to the seventh floor of the same building and try the premium Japanese dishes at Shou Zen, which is also run by Confiserie Benji Limited – the same social enterprise as La Parole.
La Parole, 3/F, The Pemberton, 22-26 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, p. 2436 4099
Born in 2010, iBakery has been baking up a storm under the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals. iBakery employs and trains individuals with disabilities to whip up delicious baked goods to help feed Hong Kong. This social enterprise operates a baking factory, cookie shops, restaurants, and snack kiosks. Stop by a bakery for madeleines, or one of the restaurants for an inviting meal made with social consciousness and care.
iBakery has various locations across Hong Kong.