3 Great cafés that give back to the community

Our family eats out a lot at restaurants and cafés – probably too much. With so many dining options in KL, I am often besieged by choices. How can we support those less fortunate, while still satisfying our bellies?

I recently visited three amazing social enterprise eateries in the Klang Valley, where you can help to give back to the community, while having a good time, some great food and lovely service.

1. Eat X Dignity

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Located in Sentul, their motto is ‘breaking the cycle of poverty, one dish at a time’. Proceeds go towards supporting education for underprivileged children. In their beautiful café right next door to their outdoor garden plots, we tried the typical latte, rose latte (so delicious and a great caffeine free alternative), salsa salad and popiah (a fried roll, sometimes vegetarian). All very tasteful. We will definitely visit again with a bigger group. Check out their menu here.

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25-G, Jalan 11/48a, Sentul Raya Boulevard, Kuala Lumpur. Eat X Dignity operates from Tuesday till Sunday, 8am – 9pm.

Bake with Dignity is a sister company and is an employment initiative revolving around adults with learning disabilities.

2. I’mPossible Café

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Under the umbrella of the Self-Advocacy Society of Persons with Learning Disabilities, this café is located in PJ. Their aim is to reduce the isolation of people with learning disabilities and give them the tools to take control of their lives, so they too can contribute to society.

We popped into this store thinking it would be a large café, but instead found a small frontage with a display fridge and a few seats. Behind the glass wall was a multitude of people working at their craft. They sell handmade coasters, purses, keychains & more – see the photo for full price list. I am definitely getting my next Christmas presents from here! So colourful and artistic.

We tried their shaved mango ice, which was very light and refreshing, and bought some short bread cookies to take home. Wickedly tasty and not recommended for those on a diet. I couldn’t stop eating them.

603, Jalan 17/12, PJ. Open from Tuesday – Thursday, 9am – 4pm.

3. Deaf in Business Restaurant Cafe & Catering

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DIB is located in Damansara Perdana, and their staff are all hearing impaired individuals. Parking is a challenge, but there is a basement for cars. Once you walk up the stairs to the café (situated next door to Gamuda), you can understand why it’s so popular. Not just because they provide much needed jobs to the hearing impaired, but it has lots of seating – we love their green outdoor area.

There is a large variety of food on offer. We tried their red velvet muffin and found little crunchy bits of delight. So yum! I will definitely bring my daughter here next time, as she is keen to practice her sign language. Menu here.

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1st floor, Menara Gamuda, PJ Trade Centre, No 8 Jln PJU 8/8A, Bandar Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya.

Other food venues of note

I didn’t have a chance to visit these places, but they sound very good:

Autism Café Project – hires people on the spectrum to work in their café. Located in Kota Damansara. Best to call ahead at 012 – 349 0813, before you go.

Kafe Basikal Tua – based in Sungai Penchala and run by OKU (persons with disabilities). Private lunches in a secret garden. Entry to the café requires prior booking via 011 – 6170 8502 and needs minimum of 6 pax to cater. Lot 3333 Jalan Palimbayan Indah Kg Sg Penchala, Kuala Lumpur.

Pit Stop Community Café – my friend organised her birthday party here, eliciting her friends to donate money and pitch in with meal prep. Address: 101, Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, Kuala Lumpur.

Coffee for good – doesn’t have a physical store, but organises pop-ups with collaborators and has coffee supplies and provides catering. Email them here or contact Faridah at 012 – 292 1480.

Would you like to give your kids an opportunity to give back to the community? Have a look at our article here about charities where kids can volunteer!

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