A new café on the NSW Central Coast is proving that imagination, determination and an addictive organic latte are a winning combination.
Since the Fare Cravin’ Café opened in the leafy surrounds of Fairhaven Services last month by then Disability Minister Mitch Fifield it’s been a hit with Fairhaven visitors, employees and locals alike.
Every Australian Counts spoke to retail manager, Jodie Frost Foster, to get the low down.
So, tell us about the new café Jodie.
We opened The Fare Cravin’ (to rhyme with ‘Fairhaven’!) Café to cater for the staff, employees and general public who come to our head office at Point Clare. It’s part of The Vintage Fair collective, a vintage retail-shopping precinct that puts the proceeds of what we sell back into providing services for people with disability.
What’s the thinking behind it?
After we refurbished our retail spaces, people kept telling us that all we needed was a café to compliment the new ambience we created at the precinct.
It also provides another workplace option for our supported employees to give them skills they can use here at Fairhaven, or when they move on to other jobs. We already have two food packaging facilities and an up-cycling team who take donated goods and transform them into amazing furniture that they then sell in the vintage School House store, or our pop up shop at Westfield’s Tuggerah.
Plus, our grounds are perfect for it – leafy outlook, open grassed area, beautiful!
Who staffs the café?
The café is staffed by a Café Manager/trained barista and a team of supported employees with disability who are on a rotating roster. Some of the staff will be trained to serve coffee. They’ll also get training in front and back of house service, how to open and close up, merchandising, cash handling and face-to-face customer service.
What’s their verdict?
Everyone is excited to have the café open. Many of our employees want to be involved and others are happy to be a customer and enjoy what is on offer.
Our CEO and chairman have booked their first coffee meeting in the café for tomorrow!
So it’s a win for everyone?
Yes! Our supported clients have another workplace opportunity they can get involved in and learn new practical work skills, we have a new café offering in our local area and the local community can come in for some great food and coffee.
Any house specialties?
Organic coffee, gigantic ‘Wagon Wheels’ (remember them?) and locally sourced loose-leaf tea.
What’s the feedback so far?
Importantly, that the coffee is very good and it is just what the place needed!
Other people have said it’s a very funky set up, which it definitely is. Apart from the coffee addicted staff working on site, we already have a couple of regulars.
You can follow the team at the Fare Cravin’ Café on the Fairhaven Services Facebook Page www.facebook.com/VintageFairTheCollective