Inclusivity on Wheels: Pride Cafe, Bengaluru’s first food truck managed by LGBTQIA+ community opens at WeWork Galaxy

The food truck hopes to provide employment and visibility to members of the LGBTQIA+ community

January 11, 2023 12:31 pm | Updated January 13, 2023 06:14 pm IST - Bengaluru

Veteran actor Arundhati Nag after inaugurating the Pride Cafe at WeWork Galaxy on Residency Road in Bengaluru on January 9, 2023.

Veteran actor Arundhati Nag after inaugurating the Pride Cafe at WeWork Galaxy on Residency Road in Bengaluru on January 9, 2023. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

This week food became a love language and a means of empowerment in Bengaluru with the launch of Pride Cafe, a food truck, at WeWork Galaxy in Residency Road in an effort to provide employment and visibility to members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

LGBTQIA+ community launches Pride Cafe in Bengaluru  | Video Credit: Gizelle Gina D’Silva

An initiative by the Solidarity Foundation in partnership with WeWork, Amadeus and Agape Hospitality Consultants, the cafe aims to offer breakfast, lunch and snacks to those working and passing by WeWork Galaxy.

Shubha Chako, Executive Director at Solidarity Foundation said, “While listening to stories of people from the LBGTQIA+ community, we realised that food is a common juncture, a bridge to love. The food truck will help people understand the idea of gender inclusivity and relate to those who feel they could not open up about their queer identity in the society.”

A panel discussion on creating a safe and inclusive space for LGBTQIA+ community in the city during the launch event of Pride Cafe in Bengaluru on January 9, 203.

A panel discussion on creating a safe and inclusive space for LGBTQIA+ community in the city during the launch event of Pride Cafe in Bengaluru on January 9, 203. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The food truck employs 12 members, some of whom have received culinary training from Agape Hospitality’s centre at Lingarajapuram. Going forward, the cafe employees will also receive training in English speaking, mental health and hospitality skills. The truck will operate from 10 am to 6 pm through the week. The menu includes poha, classic French toast, sandwiches, roti and dal makhani etc.

“The options in our menu range from Indian to Continental, and our main focus is to serve young working individuals. Hence, our food will be something quick to eat and quick to take, while also being affordable. One can also taste the love with which the community members have come together to cook the food,” said Mario Pradeep, Head Chef at the Pride Café.

The food truck employs 12 members, some of whom have received culinary training and will operate from 10 am to 6 pm through the week.

The food truck employs 12 members, some of whom have received culinary training and will operate from 10 am to 6 pm through the week. | Photo Credit: Gizelle Gina D’Silva

Expanding to other events, IT parks

Raghuvinder Singh Pathania, Head of Community and Operations, WeWork India said, “Diversity creates greater opportunities for professional growth, innovation, and creativity. WeWork India is committed to empowering the LGBTQIA+ community. Our collaboration with the Solidarity Foundation to launch Pride Café at WeWork Galaxy is a step towards empowering the community’s livelihood and improving their access to growth opportunities.”

A performance by members of the Jogappa, a transgender community from Karnataka.

A performance by members of the Jogappa, a transgender community from Karnataka. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Eventually, the Pride Café will also be stationed at events and other IT parks in the city. “This is our first initiative and we would eventually want to upscale it by stationing the food trucks at other IT parks and events. The fact that Pride Café has been launched shows that society is now open for social innovation,” Shubha added.

The cafe was inaugurated by veteran actor Arundhati Nag and drag performer Alex Mathew, also known popularly as Maya, the Drag Queen. The event witnessed a performance by the Jogappas, a transgender community in Karnataka, who sang praises of Goddess Yellamma. The talk by Maya spoke of their personal experience and the hardships they faced on their queer journey.

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