”The First Healthy Food Restaurant with a Social Business Model in Macedonia”It’s the 21st century, yet in our developing country, Macedonia, there are still people that can’t afford proper meals and are recurrently deprived of food for more than 24 hours. In Skopje, homeless people are provided the opportunity to visit open public kitchens that offer free meals, but the unfortunate reality of these places is that they are open from Monday to Friday. It goes without saying that throughout the weekend these homeless people are left hungry. As a consequence, they must beg for food or do dumpster diving, actions which directly affect their dignity. Prompted by this, the restaurant Freshys, in collaboration with the organization Kindness and the informal initiative Retweet a Meal, decided to solve this problem to a certain extent. Their solution consists of giving out free meals to people in need, every Saturday in the centre of the city. Owing to this, the owner of Freshys, Ljubomir Stojcheski, decided to open the first healthy food restaurant with the social business model. Freshys is a healthy fast food restaurant in Skopje, Macedonia, which donates 34% of its profit as food for homeless and socially disadvantaged people, with its social business model. It implements cross-subsidization of prices, in order to provide discounts for students, single parents and disabled people. They believe that everyone deserves a decent meal, and their core values are solidarity, empathy and trust.
“In cooperation with several institutions and organizations, we will try to provide for the society through the regular donation of meals for homeless people, regular discounts for socially endangered categories of citizens and similar activities. Meal after meal, our goal is to make Skopje a better place for all of us.” – says the founder of Freshys.Apart from the social mission, Freshys is also concerned with healthy lifestyle, as it offers a wide range of salads, healthy sandwiches, smoothies, fresh juice and healthy desserts. It comes as a breath of fresh air, having on mind that only a couple of years ago, there were only one or two places of this kind, and not everyone could afford eating there, due to unreasonably high prices. On the other hand, opening a healthy fast food restaurant with affordable prices impacts the lifestyle of people in the local community. It helps them stay healthy, save money and spend less amount of their time cooking.
Ljubomir and Freshy’s future plans and social goals are offering job opportunities to the aforementioned target groups, regardless their educational background, as it won’t influence the daily tasks they would accomplish at the restaurant. Accordingly, this would facilitate their work integration to a great extent. All it takes is a couple of trainings, patience and a lot of passion – and Freshys will help brighten up the lives of homeless people, single moms, youngsters, and people with disabilities.
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