Before we set off travelling from Melbourne to Brisbane visiting cafes doing extra good in their hood this week, a quick stop in Surry Hills Sydney to fuel up on how we started our journey with CafeSmart.
Around 2010, a kindred spirit named Adam Robinson turned up on our doorstep from Melbourne, having kicked off an initiative called CafeSmart by StreetSmart. You just had to donate $1 per coffee sold on a set day and 100% of the funds supported a homeless service in your neighbourhood. We jumped on board repping Sydney’s Surry Hills.
We’re a long way from being saints, but CafeSmart makes it so easy to do good that it became part of our fabric; our café team donated their tips, customers chipped in donations, our funds raised annually went on to support the Women’s and Girls Emergency Centre, Milk Crate Theatre and NSW Asylum Centre, and we came to dress smart for the occasion. Part of our fabric, literally.
We then turned our efforts to spreading the word to cafes we supply, and here are a few of those supporting Cafesmart this year…FIRST STOP – LITTLE COLIN, MELBOURNE CBD
435 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
LOCAL CHARITY FUNDED: The Big Issue – helping to fund their bi-weekly vendor breakfast, other projects include Youth Law and Youth Futures
YOU’VE BEEN BREWING SINGLE O IN MELBOURNE FOR MANY MOONS NOW. WHAT BLEND AND SINGLE WILL YOU BE DOING GOOD WITH, DONATING $1 PER COFFEE MADE FOR CAFESMART?
(Speaking with Vanessa) I discovered Single O on a trip to Sydney back in 2010 and was immediately hooked. I was also pretty happy to serve a Sydney roaster in Melbourne – no need for any North/South rivalry! It’s fricken’ delicious plus…we love Sydney!
For Little Colin we chose Killerbee as our house blend for its gorgeous velvety sweetness that carries well in milk-based coffees and stands beautifully as a black.
On CafeSmart day we’ll be running our Killerbee as usual and will run Single O’s Honduras single origin for blacks – a tropical sweet paradise in a cup to escape Melbourne winter cold!
YOU’RE SUPPORTING THE BIG ISSUE, YOU MAKE KILLER BIG SANDWICHES AND STAND OUT FOR BIG FRIENDLY SERVICE. TELL US MORE!
We are stoked to find out that our CafeSmart charity is The Big Issue – we get our issue from Jade and love everything the Big Issue stands for. We also see ourselves as a little community in the middle of the CBD. Our customers and friends are like a big (huge) family and bringing it together with this charity is pretty awesome.
We did CafeSmart last year and this year we want to make it bigger and better and are super excited to see how we all do collectively for this amazing initiative.
NEXT STOP – LION & BUFFALO, SOUTH COOGEE
A “community café” at 99-203 Malabar Rd, South Coogee NSW
LOCAL CHARITY FUNDED: B Miles Foundation – assisting women fleeing domestic violence and women suffering from mental health illnesses
WE KNOW LION AND BUFFALO LOVES A PARTY, RUNNING EVERYTHING FROM LIVE MUSIC TO AMAZING PROPS AND MENU DESIGNS FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS. ANYTHING PLANNED FOR CAFESMART?
(Dean) We love to be able to create experiences for our community, rainbow salads for Mardi Gras, an open table for R U ok Day and lots more. These events are a moving ball all the time and we usually are quite spontaneous, we just like to celebrate, we are diverse and accepting, it’s all about love and peace at the L & B. Our plan with CafeSmart is to raise as much money as we can for the great cause.
ON THE TOPIC OF DOING GOOD, YOU RECENTLY HELD AN AUSTRALIA’S BIGGEST MORNING TEA?
We recently held The Biggest Morning Tea, as my mum passed early in the year to Cancer. We put it out that we were holding this event and our community rallied, we were overwhelmed with donations of significant value to allow us to hold auctions to raise over $6000 with 100% going to the cancer council.
NEXT STOP – COW & THE MOON, ENMORE
The good stuff at 181 Enmore Rd, NSW 2042
LOCAL CHARITY FUNDED: Newtown Centre – Helping fund Newtown Neighbourhood Centre’s first response team and boarding house outreach team
GELATO AND COFFEE LEGENDS AND CAFESMART LEGENDS TOO! HOW DO YOU GET THOSE DONATIONS ROLLING IN?
(Chatting with co-owner Sam) Legends ay? My girlfriend doesn’t call me a legend but I’m working on that! We first did cafe smart last year and I feel we did really well. Social media these days is undoubtedly a powerful tool when promoting anything so we will be focusing on that but to be honest the most important thing is to speak to all of my regulars, whether they come everyday or just a few days a week, to make sure that they come in on the Friday! We’ll also be enticing people with biscuits. Someone that says they don’t like biscuits is a liar and you should cease your friendship with them
SINCE YOUR WIN AT THE WORLD GELATO CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 2014 YOU’VE DONE A SHOP RENO TO KEEP UP WITH US GELATO FIENDS, WON THE GRAND DAIRY AWARDS MELBOURNE AND CONTINUED TO PUSH THE ENVELOPE WITH CRACKING GELATO FLAVOURS. WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE GEARING UP FOR SUMMER?
Winter at Cow and the Moon is where we experiment! So there will be new flavors arriving from time to time and obviously summer means festivals. So I’m sure we’ll have our gelato out and about come summer in some form or another. But right now we aim to keep those gelato drenched faces smiling and those bellies so full that your most commonly used sentence will be regarding your diet starting tomorrow.
NEXT STOP – ESTABAR, NEWCASTLE
Making the local connections at 61 Shortland Esplanade, Newcastle NSW 2300
LOCAL CHARITY FUNDED: Newcastle Night Angels – outreach services to people sleeping rough on the streets, supplying the basic needs of food, warmth and friendship
CAFESMART’S ABOUT SUPPORTING LOCALS, WHAT ARE SOME OTHER LOCAL INITIATIVES YOU’VE RECENTLY HAD ON THE BOIL?
(Bec gives us the lowdown) Community is part of our culture, always has been. The little Apple project, we pick up fresh apples weekly from the farmers markets and make them available to our customers for a donation. All proceeds go to savethchildren.org, specifically to Syria we’ve raised over 3k so far.
Another great one is our Tea Cosy project. Our original collection was created for us by two local felt artists, its beautiful and still in great shape, so when we commissioned a new set just to freshen us up, one of the artists suggested we hold a silent auction and pass them onto regulars and proceeds to their charity of choice. We recommended out(fit) since we’re working with them at the minute. These pieces are part estabar memorabilia, part local art.
AND LOCAL PRODUCERS YOU’RE WORKING WITH?
We head off to the Newcastle farmers markets each Sunday to find our fresh produce for the week, I want to connect people with real food, I want farmers to be rewarded for the work they do and to be encouraged to stay independent, I want good food to be available for my kids and my kids kids.
That leads us to work with some of the best local producers like our raw honey grown from Newcastles suburban backyards, one hive at a time by Anna & Keel from Urban Hum or our tasty, perky, deep yellow eggs that have literally just been laid. Sarah, mother hen to her free ranging flick in the Upper Hunter collects the eggs and has them to us to use within 24 hours.
FINAL STOP – TOLD YOU SO, BRISBANE
A great coffee community at 1/14 Discovery Dr, North Lakes QLD 4503
LOCAL CHARITY FUNDED: Chameleon Youth Housing – assisting young people aged 16-17 through supported housing, mentoring and living skills
WE KNOW YOU GUYS ARE SMASHING IT WITH YOUR WASTE SAVINGS INCLUDING KEEPCUPS, ENVIRO BAGS AND GOING LIDLESS. RECENTLY YOU PARTNERED WITH SPROCKET & STEEL, THE STAINLESS STEEL STRAW PEEPS. HOW IS IT GOING?
(Anna) It’s going great! We have such a wonderful community of customers who want to reduce waste and are excited to support us and Sprocket & Steel by taking this simple step of purchasing a reusable straw. We have started using the straws for all our dine in cold drinks too. Our ultimate goal is to phase out plastic straws completely.
IT SEEMS AS IF YOUR THURSDAY NIGHTS AT TYS ARE GOING REALLY WELL. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THIS AND WHAT IT’S BRINGING TO THE COMMUNITY OF NORTH LAKES?
TYS Thursdays are doing really well. We stay open from 6am to 8pm with food trucks rolling in at 5pm. This has been a blast to watch grow. It is so nice to see what is usually a daytime space change vibe as the sun sets. We pump the music up, put the heaters on and chill out with food and hot drinks. The North Lakes community is filled with people wanting to support local and it’s our goal to provide a space that is welcoming and comfortable for everyone while at the same time smashing out some amazing coffee.
Thanks for supporting these legends (Yes Sam still calling you a legend) with your CafeSmart donations this week – click here for more venues! And cheers to Streetsmart for putting the extra heart into our Café operations this week.