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The Courier
Dundee’s creative community has turned a run-down building into a food and art hub where new start-ups can showcase their work.
Kissed, a new social enterprise, recently opened their doors at 31 Albert Square with the aim of providing floor-space to budding artists and designers hoping to reach a wider audience.
There are also opportunities for hospitality and retail graduates to be employed at the venue, which has a coffee shop.
The idea is to help graduates make the leap from the university environment to the “real world” of work, including becoming an entrepreneur.
Leslie Dick, who is one of the directors, said: “The past few weeks have been exciting, but it has been a slow build-up.
“We’re at the stage where we’re trying to let people know we’re here.
“The whole concept is that we’re a social enterprise, meaning everything goes back into the business and the community.
“We’re working with the community and with various industries including retail and hospitality, giving people who are just starting out in their fields a stepping stone.
“We’re not limited to graduates and students either – there are no strict criteria about who gets involved, the only thing they have to be is local and just starting out.
“The aim is to work with future entrepreneurs.”
The layout of the new venture includes a café with jewellery exhibits by local designers, a mezzanine floor for seating with a view of the McManus and space for pop-up shops, as well as a fashion space for vintage clothes and garments by new designers.
At the café, we caught up with the chef, Craig Trewern, and Melissa Cooper, the events, hospitality and business team leader.
Melissa  said: “I graduated from Dundee and Angus College two years ago and I’m now a business student at Abertay University.
“Coming here wasn’t like going into a fully established business – a few weeks ago this place looked nothing like a café.
“We built it all up from scratch and worked on every aspect of the business, which was a big learning curve and very useful experience.”
Craig, who graduated from Elmwood College in Cupar, was brought in to develop the kitchen and the menu.
He said: “At the moment we’re doing soups, sandwiches and cakes, but as we grow we’re going start doing main meals as well.”
Kissed will have a formal launch on September 22.
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Company Registration No. 278156. Scottish Charity No. SC 029210