The School For Pop-Ups ( is our in-house charity supporting local street food start-ups with 1-to-1 mentoring, workshops, and the opportunity to test-trade for 1 day/week within our pop-up cafe.

Whilst levels of self employment in the UK are at a record high, starting a cafe or restaurant business would generally involve committing to a significant lease of a premises, plus a committment to pay business rates and utilities, in adition to the cost of interior furniture, staff and maintaining the business.,

The SFP offers new start-ups in the food and drinks industry the opportunity to launch a new enterprise by test trading 1 day per week at Union St, with a total cost of just £65/wk, which is an all inclusive fee to cover a share of rent, rates, utilities and costs. In addition to the new customers you can attract, we’ve also built up a regular customer base who’ll be arriving between 11:30am and 2pm to buy their lunch.

A number of brands have started at Union St and progressed to take on own daily premises, including Pie Eyed, Lovely Pear, SHED, Shuju Kitchen, TONCO and Yoki. Traders for whom Union St represents their first regular catering event include Seasons, VESE and Pellicoz by Pinch N Pull, recent Winners of Best Newcomers at the British Street Food Awards 2020.

For more information visit the charity’s website, email [email protected] , call 0114 205 1051 or request a telephone call back here