The kindness cafe where you pay with ‘good deeds’ not money

Now here’s a lovely idea: a pop-up cafe where acts of kindness buys you a snack. At the pop-up Kindness Cafe, from Gosh! food, they’ve swapped regular cash for a new kind of currency.

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Instead of reaching for your debit card, simply write down a commitment to doing a good deed on the cafe’s Pledge Wall. In return you’ll be rewarded with a Gosh! ‘plant pot’, from healthy-but-delicious sweetcorn and quinoa bites to sweet potato pakora. Yum.

The Kindness Cafe is popping up on London’s Southbank (July 26-27), then The Pavilion in Dublin (August 10-11) and finally Liverpool’s ONE complex, (August 25-26). So you’ve got some time to start thinking what your act of kindness will be.

As an added incentive for your do-gooding, if you capture and share your act of kindness on Instagram (tagging @goshfreefrom), you could win a whole month’s supply of goodies. Proof that there is such a thing as a free lunch – as long as you’re nice.

Suggested pledges include volunteering at a homeless shelter, paying a stranger a compliment, or simply being nicer to fellow commuters at rush hour. 

Gosh! is a brand dedicated to creating tasty vegan-friendly food that’s free from major allergens (gluten, dairy, egg, nuts and soya) – no easy feat as anyone with food intolerances will know. The Gosh! philosophy is ‘be kind to your body’, hence the Kindness Cafe project.

Kindness has been proven to be good for your health, too, boosting levels of the feel-good hormone oxytocin, which in turn can have physical benefits, such as protecting your cardiovascular system.

Even better: various sociological studies have found that kindness is contagious. When we’re kind, it triggers a ripple effect that spreads up to three degrees of separation e.g to our friends’ friends’ friends.

Free food aside, the case for kindness is a strong one.