Loaf appointed catering supplier to NICVA

4 Apr 2014 Alex Hastings    Last updated: 20 Jun 2014

A catering social enterprise that provides training and employment opportunities for people with learning difficulties has been announced as the new supplier of catering services to the organisation representing Northern Ireland’s voluntary sector.

(front from left) NICVA Caretaker Damien Smith, Loaf catering trainee Patricia McTassney and (in delivery van) Loaf Manager Mark Anderson.

Loaf Catering, a subsidiary business of the supported training and employment organisation NOW, beat off stiff competition to be appointed as catering supplier to Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) at its Duncairn Gardens headquarters in Belfast.

The announcement is the latest success story in the continued expansion of Loaf in 2014. In the past few weeks the social enterprise has added a third cafe to its Maureen Sheehan Centre and Millennium Community Outreach Centre cafes in West Belfast to include the opening of a Loaf coffee shop in Springvale Learning Centre. It has also bought a derelict property on Grosvenor Road adjacent to the Royal Victoria Hospital with plans to develop it into a cafe and bakery business.

Loaf’s kitchens are accredited training sites where it provides 20 training and work experience placements a week for people with learning difficulties.  Its profits are reinvested back into NOW’s work in providing supported training, employment and voluntary opportunities for people with all levels of learning abilities.

Speaking about the new partnership with NICVA, NOW Chief Executive Maeve Monaghan said it was a “brilliant opportunity for Loaf showcase the great work it carries out”. “Loaf encourages local people to ‘Buy Social’ and it’s heartening to see an organisation of NICVA’s stature throwing its weight behind this by awarding this contract to a social enterprise,” said Maeve. “We look forward to working with them in the future and in helping support them to deliver excellent conference facilities at its Belfast headquarters.”

Deputy Chief Executive of NICVA, Úna McKernan, said: “We are really pleased to appoint Loaf Catering as the new supplier of catering services for the NICVA conference facilities.  “As a social enterprise providing opportunities for training and employment for people with learning difficulties, we are delighted to be able to support their work as well as providing excellent catering for our customers.  We see this as an opportunity to enhance the service we offer to our customers as well as helping Loaf develop their business and increase their training opportunities.  We hope this will be a partnership which can grow long in to the future.”

For more details of NICVA's conference facilities, including pricing and catering, click here.



  • PICTURE CAPTION: Celebrating Loaf’s appointment as catering service provider to NICVA are (front from left) NICVA Caretaker Damien Smith, Loaf catering trainee Patricia McTassney and (in delivery van) Loaf Manager Mark Anderson.
  • Loaf is a catering social enterprise consisting of three cafes and an outside catering business.  To learn more, visit www.loafcatering.com, call 078 2388 1739 or email [email protected].  Follow us on twitter at
  • Loaf’s parent organisation NOW provides training, employment and volunteer services for people with all levels of learning abilities across Greater Belfast and beyond.  Our headquarters are based at 428 Springfield Road, Belfast, BT12 7DU.  Visit www.nowproject.co.uk, email [email protected], or call 028 9043 6400.  Follow them on Twitter at


alex.hastings@nicva.org's picture
by Alex Hastings

Human Resources Manager

[email protected]

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