Café Mitmensch

by: Tessa Bornemann, Landkreis Wesermarsch

Diakonisches Werk Oldenburg e.V. is an umbrella organization for welfare services with various facilities such as child care, elderly care and hospitals. They work actively to increase the proportion of regional products in their meals.

At the end of 2018, Café Mitmensch was started. A café that works with social integration oft he disabled, and mainly uses products from the region. The goal is shorter food chains and a development oft he region’s business sector. But also to raise awareness of sustainable development and healthy products among their customers.

Café Mitmensch opened in the end of 2018. The cafe is located in the Senior Center ‘to huus achtern Diek’ of the Diakonisches Werk Oldenburg e.V. The aim of the operators is to create a meeting place for visitors, tourists and residents of the retirement home, in order to bring different generations into contact with each other. The special concept of the café includes the employment of people with disabilities and the processing of regional products to ensure short transports and special product freshness. 

In addition to cold drinks, coffee and cake, the offer also includes a daily changing lunch menu. Logistics varies much depending on the product group. The baked meat and sausage products are personally purchased and collected in the surrounding shops. 

The café is run by the service company Diadema, owned by Diakonisches Werk.  Once a week, Diadema delivers dairy products from the local producer Milchhof Diers, which are transported by a cooling car purchased as part of the REFRAME project. The apple juice is produced and delivered by a local facility also belonging to the Diakonie. A more cost and time efficient logistic solution for regional food must be developed for the longer run. As for today, customers most often have to pick up the products themselves from the farms, which is time consuming and expensive. 


Future challenges
In the future, Diadema hopes to buy as many regional products as possible and to expand its product range with fruit, vegetables, honey and jam, among other things. Difficulties in the implementation of their ambition is the lack of regional suppliers, an insufficient supply, efficient logistics, continuous availability and an affordable price. And against the background of current climate changes, regional producers are more likely to experience fluctuations in their deliveries. In some cases the catering company have to switch to other providers in order to ensure the supply contract to the institutions of the Diakonie. Another obstacle in the conversion to regional products are the habits of the guests and institution residents. The residents must learn to accept that regional products are only available on a seasonal basis and that the range of the coffeehouse therefore fluctuates during the year.

Do you want to learn more?
Please contact

Ronny Kollman-Gruhl, Diadema GmbH

Tessa Bornemann, Landkreis Wesermarsch