Cof­fee project meet­ing aims

Central Leader - - NEWS - By DANIELLE STREET

A cof­fee shop that do­nates 100 per cent of its prof­its back into com­mu­nity projects is run­ning full steam ahead af­ter only be­ing open three months.

The Roskill Cof­fee Project is the ini­tia­tive of three friends who wanted to give dis­ad­van­taged young people an op­por­tu­nity to work in the cafe and gain some ex­pe­ri­ence, while also whip­ping up a good fair-trade latte for the lo­cals.

Money raised is fed into com­mu­nity ven­tures through a trust the friends have cre­ated.

Co-man­ager Paul Fletcher says busi­ness is steadily grow­ing and they have de­cided to em­ploy two of their trainees on a per­ma­nent part­time ba­sis.

‘‘The best part of the project – and what we hoped for – is just to see these guys come out of their shells and re­alise they can do this thing and do this thing well,’’ Mr Fletcher says. ‘‘It’s ac­tu­ally prob­a­bly the best part of the job.’’

Jonny Tasi, 20, took on a trainee po­si­tion at The Roskill Cof­fee Project af­ter be­ing in­vited by Mr Fletcher.

He is cur­rently work­ing two jobs to make ends meet but says work­ing at the cafe has sparked his in­ter­est in be­com­ing a chef.

‘‘One day the head chef couldn’t come in so I got chucked in the deep end,’’ Mr Tasi says.

‘‘It was good. I made a few mis­takes but I learnt from that.’’

The cafe is still tak­ing on young trainees on a three-monthly ba­sis to help give them real-world ex­pe­ri­ence.

Mr Fletcher says it has been en­cour­ag­ing to see the com­mu­nity’s re­sponse to the in­no­va­tive project.

‘‘We’ve had great feed­back about ev­ery­thing from the cof­fee through to just the in­ter­ac­tion with the guys here,’’ he says. ‘‘One of the things that brings the most joy is see­ing lo­cal people meet other lo­cal people.

‘‘It’s a real hub for those who care about the com­mu­nity.’’

Photo: DANIELLE STREET

Cof­fee crew: From left: Head chef Ralph, trainees Ke­saia Sisi and Jonny Tasi along with co-man­ager Paul Fletcher from the Roskill Cof­fee Project.

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