There’s something special about Toshie’s Café in the North of Glasgow.

Its modern interiors match the vibe of the city’s most celebrated brunch spots, with funky tableware, a playlist of soft indie rock emanating from a Bluetooth speaker, and latte art so clean that it seems criminal to sip.

But even within one step through the door on Garscube Road, there’s a sense that great things are being done here.

The Herald: Pictured: Dale Todd, managing director at the Courtyard Pantry, at Toshie's in GlasgowPictured: Dale Todd, managing director at the Courtyard Pantry, at Toshie's in Glasgow (Image: newsquest)

“Toshie’s is part of an overarching charity called the Courtyard Pantry Enterprise”, Dale Todd, managing director of the Courtyard Pantry explained.

 “Our purpose is to tackle food poverty.

“We do that by providing secure and well-paid jobs to people who are facing barriers to employment and providing good quality food to the community at low cost.”

Many will be familiar with the work of the Courtyard Pantry, a vital resource hub just up the road that stemmed from an original partnership between Flourish House and Queens Cross Housing Association.

Borrowing a nickname from architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Toshie’s upholds the same values and practices, but with a talented team that’s determined to make their mark on the local food and drink scene.

The Herald:

Mr Todd continued: “We wanted to become a welcome part of the community, but also compete at the same level as some of the West End’s most popular cafes.

“There’s a balance to strike between appealing to the people who are going to be looking for posh eggs on toast after visiting the claypits and acknowledging that we’re in a part of the city where there is still a lot of deprivation and pockets of poverty.

“We want to make it so that everyone feels comfortable here.”

The Herald: A New Yorker sandwich at Toshie'sA New Yorker sandwich at Toshie's (Image: newsquest)

With months of trading now under their belts, Toshie’s is preparing to introduce a new brunch menu in the new year that will hold its own against the polished eateries of Great Western Road and Finnieston.

To do so, they’ve enlisted the help of a man who knows a thing or two about appealing to a West End palate.

“Peter McKenna from the Gannet is now on our board of trustees.

“He’s working with us on a plan for a kitchen redesign to create a more efficient space for plating up when we open for brunch.

“He’s also going to help us with the menu as well that’s going set us apart from anywhere else.

“The quality of our food is already excellent, but it’s exciting to think we’ll have this rabbit to pull out of the hat in the new year.”

Input from one of Scotland’s most acclaimed chefs certainly adds a sense of prestige, but Todd is right in saying that Toshie’s is already serving up a cracking selection of breakfast and lunch dishes.

There are sandwiches like the New—Yorker, packed full of pastrami, gherkins and Gouda cheese, hearty homemade soups serving as the perfect antidote to the winter weather and a cake cabinet that’s heaving with all manner of traybakes, cookies and buns.

The Herald: Just some of the cakes, buns and cookies that fill the counter at Toshie'sJust some of the cakes, buns and cookies that fill the counter at Toshie's (Image: Supplied)

Many of which are created by the talented Shukri, a refugee who first began working at the café to improve her English.

Café manager Laura McFarlane, who spent much of lockdown cooking meals for the local community with the Courtyard Pantry during lockdown and now oversees the menu at Toshie’s, said: “Shukri is amazing.

“With virtually no English or experience in baking, she took to it straight away.

“I’ve worked in hospitality for years but always preferred being in the kitchen to front of house.

“Toshie’s is a much faster pace in comparison to working at the Wester Commons Drive Café, but so far it’s been great, and we’re enjoying the challenge of coming up with specials that will make use of surplus stock from the pantry so that nothing goes to waste.”

There will be no slowing down between now and the launch of the new brunch menu, with Toshie’s already seeing a great deal of interest in their Christmas Private Dining experiences.

Looking forward to it all, Mr Todd said: “There’s a social purpose behind everything that we do, but we’re also incredibly proud of the food that we produce.

“Now our goal is to burst out of our bubble, and make sure that people across the city know that we exist, and we have some really fantastic things on our menu.”

Toshie’s is located at 846 Garscube Road in Glasgow.

For further updates, or to enquire about Christmas private dining follow them on social media here.