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.

Join us for our next lunchtime meet-up (online) on Monday 29th March from 12:30 til 1:30pm
Our next Guest Speaker will be from the city’s most in-demand baker of fresh breads and pastries on Abbeydale Road, as Martha Brown will be sharing her story of how she started the Forge Bakehouse and I’ll be asking for Martha’s tips and advice on starting an independent business in Sheffield, plus how Forge pivoted during lockdown to offer a community drop-off model. Hosted by The School for Pop-Ups as an informal Q&A it’ll also be a chance to ask any questions, alongside Business Advisor Greg Tipper and Danny from Pellizco, recent Winner of Best Newcomer at the British Street Food Awards. You can find more info, register for your ticket and add the event to your diary (Monday 29th March) here.

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