A Fulham businessman is being nice as pie (and mash) to ex-servicemen in the borough.
The 62-year-old has added a pie and mash dish to the menu after colleague Stuart Beattie, who served in the Army Catering Corps, came up with the smashing idea.
“We started out by ordering 30 pies. Now, a few weeks on, we are selling over 150 a week,” said Ian. “We even had a visit from a pearly queen last week who gave us the thumbs-up.
“Having a stable home and being able to run our café for veterans and the local community has helped me get back on track. I really enjoy working in Fulham and we have a great mix of friendly customers.”
Solider turned chef
Ian served in Northern Ireland and Cyprus, but when he left the army he became homeless. Having got a home via Stoll, he retrained as a chef and now leads a team of staff and volunteers at the cafe.
“Many veterans who sacrificed their lives for their country struggle when they return to civilian life,” said Cllr Alan De’Ath, H&F Lead Member Representative for the Armed Forces. “Ian and the Stoll are doing life-changing work to support our veterans in the borough, and they have our full support.”
Veteran and Stoll resident Bob Barrett founded the Beef Kitchen in 2005, where he trained and employed 30 ex-service personnel.
Ian trained there as a chef and in 2015 took over managing the social enterprise when Bob retired and the cafe became The Veterans’ Kitchen.
Pop down to the annual Christmas Evening with Stoll veterans on 7 December at St Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge.
The carol concert includes performances from the St Pauls’ choir, the Band of The Welsh Guards and a choir of Stoll staff and veterans… followed by mulled wine and mince pies.
All proceeds from the evening will be used by the charity to provide housing and other support to homeless and disabled veterans.
For more information call 0207 381 0036 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Stoll’s outreach team provides advice and support to service leavers and veterans on issues from housing to expert healthcare. Contact email@example.com or call 020 7385 2110 for help.