Top chef launches new brand of Lisburn’s Cafe with a cause

Conor Thompson trainee with Stepping Stones with the Lisburn Mayor councillor Brian Bloomfield with local chef Paula McIntyre and Paula Jennings, Chief Officer at Stepping Stones
Conor Thompson trainee with Stepping Stones with the Lisburn Mayor councillor Brian Bloomfield with local chef Paula McIntyre and Paula Jennings, Chief Officer at Stepping Stones

Award winning charitable organisation, Stepping Stones NI have teamed up with top chef Paula McIntyre to launch their new brand The Courtyard Café with a menu.

The Lisburn chef is well known in the culinary world with a huge following of food lovers and hosts the cooking slot on BBC Radio Ulster’s ‘Saturday Magazine’ with John Toal.

She trained in Culinary Arts at the prestigious Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island, USA, and returned to the UK in 1993 to open her own restaurant in Manchester.

She returned to Northern Ireland in 1998, after Paula worked as Head Chef in several establishments including Ghan House in Carlingford and Fontana in Holywood.

The Courtyard Café trains adults with a learning disability in catering with 100% of the profits reinvested to support the work of the charity.

Paula has lived in Lisburn for over 13 years, was aware of the work of the charity and delighted to be approached by them to create a new offering for Lisburn diners that creates a positive impact in the wider community.

Stepping Stones NI has over 18 years of experience of running social enterprise café’s which serve as a realistic training platform for adults with a learning disability.

They operate two successful café’s in Lisburn and decided to look at a new brand for its Seymour Street cafe in partnership with the local chef. Having also taught adults learning disabilities / difficulties, Paula shares Stepping Stones NI’s passion for changing the lives of the charity’s clients.

Paula says, “I am delighted to be partnering up with Stepping Stones NI for the launch of the Courtyard Café and to become a champion for their work. “The staff team are extremely talented and I am amazed at their passion and motivation. Together we have developed new breads, soups, salads and meals for Lisburn diners to enjoy.”

The Courtyard Café will also bring ‘An Evening with Paula McIntyre’ bistro nights beginning in November.

McIntyre’s previous bistro nights around NI have been extremely popular and sold out in days.

Stepping Stones NI, Chief Officer, Paula Jennings says, “We are delighted to launch the Courtyard Café and to offer Lisburn diners an exciting new eatery with great tasting food that creates a lot of good.”

Stepping Stones NI was established in 1996 to provide adults with learning difficulties/disabilities with the opportunity to access accredited training towards gaining employment.

The organisation opened its doors in 1998 as a community business. The charity operates six businesses that serve as a training facility for

adults with disabilities.