Student - March 23, 2017

A good meal for a good cause

Anne van der Heijden

Happietaria will be open from 29 March for one month again in Wageningen. This pop-up restaurant will let you eat out with a clear conscience as the proceeds go to an aid organization in India. What is more, you can take part in Happietaria’s cake-baking competition, The Great Wageningen Bake Off.

The last pop-up Happietaria in Wageningen was in 2015, when volunteers raised over 23,000 euros for a project in Kenya. Photo: Happietaria Wageningen

Happietaria, an initiative of the national organization Happy Gift, works exclusively with volunteers and gets many of its ingredients free from local companies. As a result, the temporary restaurant makes a relatively high profit. That money goes to a good cause chosen by the local Happietaria group from a list of charities.

This year, the Wageningen volunteers have chosen the aid organization Tear, which runs projects in northern India around the city of Robertsganj. It gives local people training in educating others about healthcare issues. The aim is to make people aware of their rights and options. ‘This aid will lead to lasting, sustainable development, and the sustainability aspect fits well with Wageningen,’ says Gerdine Bakker, a WUR student and member of the Happietaria Wageningen committee.

The Indian theme is also reflected in this year’s Happietaria menu, with various Indian dishes on offer. The restaurant is open from Monday to Saturday for a three-course evening meal and on Thursday morning for breakfast. A special Easter brunch will be available on Easter Monday.

The initiative for Happietaria Wageningen came from students, but anyone can eat there, work as a volunteer or make a donation, says Bakker. She and the other volunteers hope to serve around 2000 guests during the month and earn about 25,000 euros for Tear.

To generate more publicity, Happietaria is also holding a baking competition — The Great Wageningen Bake Off — on 1 April. The jury will include participants from the popular Dutch TV bakery programme Heel Holland bakt, including the winner Annemarie Pronk. Anyone who registers by the deadline of 25 March can submit their cake for the competition on 1 April. Visitors can eat as much cake as they want for five euros, after which the winner will be announced. The Happietaria volunteers will reproduce the winning cake and serve it for one week as a dessert option in the restaurant.

Happietaria, located at Rustenburg 5 in Wageningen town centre, will be officially opened on 29 March by the mayor. More information: