HOPE Cafe in Ballygunge, Kolkata, was founded by director of The HOPE Foundation, Maureen Forrest in 2008. The Hope Foundation was set up in 1999 to help provide shelter and education to homeless children. As they grew from a single shelter housing 11 children, to multiple shelters for girls and boys, and creches for babies, they realized that it was important to ensure that the children were able to earn and move out after they turn 18. The Hope Cafe came to life to help train some of the children who were not academically inclined. Renu Singh who runs and manages Hope Cafe speaks passionately about the many 18 year olds who have passed through her training at the Hope Cafe, and are today successfully employed across cafes in Kolkata. Her high, she says, is when they come back and use the cafe like a regular customer, ordering their favourite dishes.
Located in the alley beside the city style triangular park (Children's Park), HOPE Cafe is known for serving Chinese, Italian and North-Indian cuisines. It offers a great choice of lunch options as well as daily Indian specials and cakes for dessert. It serves vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian fare. Hakka Noodles, Ginger Garlic Chicken and Chicken Pakora are the most recommended dishes. They are known for their Chocolate Mud-pie, which is served warm and moist topped with nuts.