Helping to put food on the table

Helping to put food on the table

Ethical fast food firm Friska is to open in Manchester Science Partnerships’ new flagship building, bringing its charity partnership to the North for the first time.

The Bristol-headquartered company, which has previously been the recipient of an Observer award for Best Ethical Restaurant, was founded in 2009 by Griff Holland and Ed Brown.

The pair have been looking for suitable Northern site for the past two years and have decided Manchester Science Park’s mix of knowledge workers and tech-entrepreneurs will be the ideal customers for their menu of responsibly-sourced, fresh, and healthy food.

Friska currently has eight sites in the South West and the Midlands with an airside site at London’s Luton airport due to open in June 2017.

Employing more than 85 staff across multiple locations, the company’s ethos to provide an exciting and sustainable blend of food and drink remains unchanged.

The diverse menu is inspired by co-founder Holland’s international travels, blending Asian street food with healthy Californian fayre.

In addition to its commitment to sourcing ingredients sustainably, Friska also supports a number of charitable causes. Most notable is the company’s partnership with microfinance charity Deki.

The charity enables people to lend as little as £10 to entrepreneurs in the developing world. Each month Friska contributes 10p from each sale of a selected product to support enterprising individuals in less developed countries; from tailors in Malawi to grocers in South Sudan.

Thomas Renn, MSP managing director, said: “Friska’s company philosophy and eclectic menu are a great fit for Manchester Science Park’s academics and sci-tech workers. We’re delighted they have chosen the Bright Building for their first Northern restaurant, and we’re pleased to help a new independent brand establish itself in the city.

“As one of Europe’s most tech-enabled commercial buildings, and the nerve centre for digital innovation in the North, the Bright Building will act as a focal point for the thousands that work and study along Corridor Manchester. The opportunity this provides to retailers is obvious, and we’re confident that Friska’s breakfast and lunch offer will prove a success.”

Ed Brown, co-founder at Friska, said: “Griff, I and the whole team are really privileged and excited to be the catering partner in the flagship building at Manchester Science Park.

“We cannot wait to bring our brand of fresh, interesting fast food to Manchester and help the MSP team fulfil their vision for the space as a collaborative meeting place for ideas and positive change in the North West.”

The first new build on Manchester Science Park in more than 15 years, the Bright Building will provide the headquarters for CityVerve, the UK’s Internet of Things city demonstrator, and Mi-IDEA, a post accelerator and open innovation centre for fast-growth technology businesses operated in partnership with Cisco.