STREAT – A social enterprise for good.
A number of years ago, a bunch of us – mainly chefs and baristas – downed some macchiatos and got to work providing homeless and disadvantaged young people with the life skills, training and work experience they required to take a step closer to achieving some of their personal goals.
We’ve been really busy over the last six years, and have built a bunch of Melbourne-based cafes, catering and coffee roasting businesses. (We’d love you to pay us a visit! Check out our locations and opening times.)
Across these businesses we’ve collectively imparted thousands and thousands of hours (over 7,000 to be precise!) of our hospitality knowledge to over 400 young people. And although we’re passionate about food and coffee, we’re also determined that our young people should gain transferrable employability skills that would stand them in good stead in any industry. We teach them how to set a daily routine and turn up to work on time. How to be clean and well presented. How to work constructively as a member of a small team. How to overcome your fears and engage with the customers you serve. How to put on a smile and have a great workplace attitude – even on the days you really, really don’t feel like it.
But of even greater importance to us, is that our young people know how deeply we care for them, and how much they really matter to us. We want them to know that not just our cafe doors – but also our hearts – will forever remain open to them, no matter what. We know that written down on paper these sentiments sound like a Hallmark card. But this is the simple truth. And we all know it.
‘Staff make you feel really welcome when you walk in. Just a smile that means they know you and care. Simple stuff but it makes me happy to know I belong here.’
‘STREAT is happy for me to be me. You know I'm gay and you don't care, as long as I try hard and do the job.’
‘STREAT has given me a sense of direction that I haven't felt in years. Even just a year ago everything was chaotic - now I am getting on track. I am finally in stable accommodation, I am studying and have got motivation to do things again. STREAT has been an amazing experience for me……….’
‘Trainees and staff are the first people in my life who accept me and support me completely.’
'Today I graduate. Today I actually finish something I started, today I walk away with friends and knowledge but most of all I leave with hope....Sometimes you underestimate how much a course can do for you. I know I did but when I look back I can see that STREAT is one of the defining factors in my life.'
‘I’ve never felt this way except for when I’m with my family.’
'I'm so proud of myself and I never thought I would be proud of myself.'