New café open for business
Community partners launched Horsham’s newest café amid positivity, coffee, food and smiles.
About 50 people from a variety of community agencies and organisations gathered at the café to celebrate the start of the social enterprise.
‘Laneway café without borders’, at former Thipatiy Coffee Lounge, is a partnership project between Centre for Participation, Horsham Special School and Woodbine.
The enterprise is designed to help prepare students for ongoing, longterm employment while also building pathways to help them develop hospitality and small-business skills.
It is geared to support a broad cross-section of people, including school leavers with special needs and migrant women.
About 50 people
celebrated the launch of the café including representatives from the three partner organisations, Horsham mayor Mark Radford, Centre for Participation board members, and other supportive guests.
The project is the result of a shared vision and a $186,600 State Government grant through a 2018 Pick My Project round.
Centre for Participation chief executive Julie Pettett, a key figure driving the project, said the launch represented an ‘exciting’ and ‘long-awaited’ day.
“The café is a ground-up community initiative aimed at both young people with special needs and migrant women wanting skills to assist in gaining employment in the hospitality sector,” she said.
“We hope the café will be seen as working in co-operation, rather than competition, with other cafés and I welcome any constructive feedback the community might have in regard to improvements or changes going forward.”
Woodbine chief executive Bernie O’connor said he was honoured to have been invited into the partnership, commenting how exciting it was that the organisation’s passion for supporting people with a disability was being further realised.
He said the Horsham café would mean some Horsham clients travelling to access Woodbine services in Warracknabeal would be able to work towards gaining employment in their home town.
Horsham Special School principal Matt Copping agreed, commenting that the business reflected a vibrant sense of community and citizenship in the Wimmera-mallee.
“We’re thankful for this partnership and excited for the opportunity it will present for our students to transition after leaving school,” he said.
Manager Sally Marcroft described the café as ‘a wonderful opportunity with a great team behind it’.
“We were pleased to be able to employ some of the previous Thipatiy staff, along with some new faces, and look forward to continuing and hopefully growing the meal home-delivery and school-lunch services into the future,” she said.
Barengi Gadjin Land Council’s Ron Marks welcomed the crowd to country and shared how enterprises such as the café could help in breaking down barriers in the community.
‘Laneway café without borders’ opened for its first week of business on Monday, with the 7am to 3pm trading hours focusing on breakfast, brunch and lunch.