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To many, a cafe latte or shot of espresso is just a good way to kick-start the day. To the at-risk youth who are trained and employed at non-profit cafes such as Melbourne’s STREAT, it’s a new shot at life.

If you want to drink coffee for a good cause, you can, thanks to Melbourne’s stellar social enterprise cafes.


Cromwell STREAT

Cromwell STREAT. Photo: Supplied
Cromwell STREAT. Photo: Supplied

STREAT’s motto is “tastes good, does good”, and they’ve taken that to the next level with the opening this month of a new flagship site in a historic Collingwood mansion.

STREAT already has four coffee shops dotted around the city, and the new Cromwell Manor eatery cements it as a powerhouse of the non-profit social enterprise business model. The ambitious new site features a cafe, artisan bakery, coffee roastery and youth training academy.

Housed in the heritage-listed 150-year-old building, the space is rich in history and charm, with much of its period design features retained throughout the renovations – including original bricks blackened with soot from the old chimneys.

Muesli with candied walnuts, crimson raisins, fresh fruit and St David Dairy Yoghurt. Photo: Supplied

Since launching in March 2010, STREAT has trained and crafted future pathways for more than 520 disadvantaged youth, teaching vital life skills and creating employment opportunities in the hospitality industry and other sectors.

“Cromwell STREAT is an incredible dream come true,” says Rebecca Scott, co-founder and CEO. “It means we can triple the number of young people we help each year – to 365 a year. But watch out, we are only just getting warmed up.”



  • KereKere South, Boyd Community Hub, 207 City Road, Southbank
  • KereKere Green, Fitzroy Gardens Visitors Centre, 230 Wellington Parade, Melbourne


A stalwart of the local coffee scene in Melbourne, KereKere started life as a coffee cart at Melbourne Uni and now operates out of two premises: the Boyd Community Hub in Southbank and the Fitzroy Gardens.

Customers pick the charity they’d like to help. The cafe makes $500 contributions each month to initiatives that celebrate community, and with each cup of coffee customers are given a playing card with which they can help pick the cause they’d like to support.

A photo posted by Ngoc Le (@ngocolat) on




The fine folk at Kinfolk are all about good coffee, seasonal food and social inclusion. The volunteer-run cafe donates 100 per cent of profits to their partner charities each year.

Since opening in 2010, Kinfolk has raised an astonishing $150,000 for their partner projects. They’ve also launched their own catering service.