Market trader to cook up free meals for needy in Bridport

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: GOODWILL GESTURE: Rawles butchers Matt Follett and Pauline Howat with Spice and rice man Alasdair Marshall GOODWILL GESTURE: Rawles butchers Matt Follett and Pauline Howat with Spice and rice man Alasdair Marshall

IT won’t be a soup kitchen but the spirit will be the same when curry man Alasdair Marshall of the Spice and Rice market stall spends a night giving away food to the needy and homeless.

He is planning his philanthropic gesture for December 11. Thanks in part to the generosity of Rawles Butchers in East Street he will be serving up pots of beef goulash or stew, accompanied by vegetables and potatoes, soups, teas and coffees.

Bridport Town Council has given him permission to keep his stall open in the evening and has agreed to put benches out for people to use.

Three years ago Alasdair was an unemployed door-to-door salesman before he turned to YouTube for ‘how to’ tips on cooking and came up with the idea for his Spice and Rice stall.

He couldn’t face the ‘roller-coaster’ of his profession so he stopped looking for jobs and turned to catering.

He said: “I learnt using a lot of common sense and YouTube.

“I like cooking everything. I’m not a one-trick pony but it has been the curries that have really been the most popular.”

Alasdair’s reputation for his food has given him a thriving business and now he wants to give something back.

He said: “Last year a town crier in Axminster was saying he goes to Exeter to chef for the homeless and I just thought I don’t need to go and chef somewhere else. “I have the equipment in the street and I could just do it in Bridport where there are people who are finding it a bit tight.”

He said he wasn’t going to police his generosity – he will be relying on people’s honesty and good will.

He said: “People wouldn’t be taking advantage of me if they weren’t really in need. They would be taking advantage of people who are in need.

“I have a lot of faith in the community. It is not an emergency outpost for people who are on their last legs. I don’t think we are quite at that stage in Bridport but it is just a gesture of goodwill.

“It is especially for people who haven’t got anywhere to stay for the night or people who are struggling and have to watch their pennies for their food bill every week.”

He will contacting old people’s homes and other places who might know people who would appreciate a ‘home cooked’ hot meal. He added: “If they want to put in an order and collect it they can or I have volunteers willing to deliver.

“Rawles butchers have kindly offered to bear some brunt of the cost and hopefully I will have a few donations from my tin on the stall.

“I have had plenty of people offering to volunteer and it should be quite a fun night if nothing else.”

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