Jabulani international food court brings diverse food to Union Street

It’s great to see hospitality in full swing again, and we’re proud to have been a part of an exciting new venture on Union Street that serves up a delicious global food experience.

Fleur Powell

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Our friends at Jabulani wanted to create ‘a bubbling and communal pot’ that celebrates the increasingly diverse culture of Plymouth’s Stonehouse district. Showcasing what modern Stonehouse has to offer, and providing vibrant, far-flung experiences through global food, art, music and culture, Jabulani provides an incubator venue for local (BAME) residents to start food businesses.

High start-up capital costs and intimidating regulation are often a barrier that exclude people from establishing a new business, and Jabulani addresses this through affordable units that host diverse food traders. The food court cooks-up and celebrates a modern Stonehouse experience, born and bootstrapped from local people and culture, offering an inspiring, affordable hub for local residents, as well as food destination for visitors from across the city and further afield.

The venue lies within The Plot, a project initiated by Nudge Community Builders to reinvigorate an empty ground floor commercial unit on Plymouth’s Union Street – part of a continuing effort to breathe life back into vacant properties led by a passionate local team, for the benefit of their own community.

Studio Skein provided planning and building services consultancy and interior design concepts to help The Plot and Jabulani get established, ensuring that all commercial building consents were in place for its new use.

With a very humble funding pot and a huge amount of volunteer time, we supported the clients ethos of inventive, low-cost, vibrant transformation through a combination of reduced-fee and pro-bono time. 

The interior design for Jabulani was being finalised just as the corona virus lockdown struck, prompting some quick-thinking from the team.  Working with the Diversity Business Incubator, Nudge, and food-court traders, the team devised a bootstrap alternative layout housed in mobile catering pods that allowed Jabulani to start trading whilst meeting emerging Covid-19 restrictions.