(From left) Emily McDonald, Nathan Daley, Latoya Kay and Kim Albert completed the course and now work at the cafe.
(From left) Emily McDonald, Nathan Daley, Latoya Kay and Kim Albert completed the course and now work at the cafe. Gemima Harvey

Cafe proud of its achievements

IT MAY be called the Pride Cafe but "humble" is more fitting for the quiet-achieving social enterprise that gives job seekers hands-on training in the hospitality industry.

The initiative by NORTEC will see a third group of students graduating from the 10-week course on March 22.

The program equips students to work in a bustling kitchen environment as well as honing skills in customer service and front-of-house. Theory is taught in a solar-powered bus and students attain their Responsible Service of Alcohol, Responsible Conduct of Gambling and Safe Food Handling certificates.

Project co-ordinator Sharyn Konrad said there were many success stories.

“People are amazed by how professional they are and the standard of their work and about 75% are employed in the industry after completing the course,” she said.

“The students really blossom. Some would never have tried hospitality and now love it.”

The cafe is a diverse place, with herbs growing in a vegetable patch out the back, products for sale including arts and crafts, home-made basil oil and lime salt, among many others.

Part of their operation is providing healthy and economical meals to disadvantaged groups and they have 900 “Pride members” enjoying this service. The 180 residents of the nearby retirement village regularly take advantage of affordable Sunday roasts and classic weekly favourites like lamb's fry.

Kim Albert went through the first course and said she loved the concept of the cafe and what it was trying to achieve.

“It’s a great place to work and all the students who come through are eager to learn,” she said.



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