On March 28th, “Pirmas Blynas” (The First Pancake) was invited to the Equality and Diversity awards as a nominee for the award for Overcoming Obstacles.
The jury and public voted in their favor and “Pirmas Blynas” won the award. The pancake restaurant has been awarded for being a social business and its mission to help people with intellectual disabilities to enter the labor market.
“Pirmas Blynas” attracts visitors not only with the idea of social enterprise but also while organizing all kinds of events, for instance, a week when all dishes and drinks do not have a fixed price – customers can pay as much as they think it is necessary. However, the majority of the customers pay more than the initial price and leave extra tips since they want to contribute to this social project and show support to the staff.
In addition, the restaurant invites everyone to participate in a board game events, language exchange meetings and sign language lessons. Certainly, while enjoying board games and learning new languages (even sign language!) visitors are welcome to order pancakes with sweet or salty fillings which is the main dish of “Pirmas Blynas”.
Every Wednesday there is a possibility to choose between a vegan and a non-vegan day menu. Undoubtedly, “Pirmas Blynas” team reach and appeal to everyone.
The social restaurant was opened in 2018, by a Dutchman Tim van Wijk. While in the Netherlands social enterprise is a very common way to help people with disabilities enter the market and become independent workers, it is still quite a unique idea in Lithuania. The founder of “Pirmas Blynas” is using his own experience from the Netherlands to make a social enterprise with disabled workers possible in Lithuania.
Interestingly, the name of the pancake restaurant is a Lithuanian saying, which means the first time. The first pancake just like the first try sometimes can turn out as a failure, yet in the future, by trying and not giving up (and making more pancakes), progress and positive results will be evident.