While the social-conscience model sounds complicated 25 volunteers work two shifts a day, profit is distributed to four development projects and organisations of all kinds offer monetary and practical support Kinfolk Café is an easy, breezy place to be. Especially in the city, on a weekday morning.
Co-founder Jarrod Briffa says the café was the product of a pledge of coffee sponsorship by Di Bella Coffee, through the Y-Generation Against Poverty foundation. A home was offered by the Donkey Wheel charitable trust in its Bourke Street premises, dozens of volunteers set to work (they spent just $12,000 to fit out the entire space) and Kinfolk opened a year ago.
The café is staffed by professional kitchen, front-of-house and coffee people, but their skills are complemented by the rotating band of volunteers. As customers leave, they are invited to place a coffee bean in a box to represent their charity of choice. Kinfolk Café sponsors a community development project in Rwanda, an anti-slavery scheme in Ghana, an indigenous youth education program in Palm Island and Urban Seeds open-lunch Credo Café in Melbourne. Every coffee lover should put this café on their hit list.
Shes the head barista and trainer at this energetic, purposeful café and for Zuleika Peach, its a dream job. Peach, known as Zeke, spent 10 years in the hospitality industry, eight of them as a barista. Before joining Kinfolk in September, she was the head barista at Las Chicas café in Balaclava, where she worked with Kinfolk co-founder Asuka Hara. On top of her Monday-to-Friday gig, Peach also runs after-hours coffee workshops for Kinfolks volunteers. Its a great challenge to work with people who have different backgrounds and capabilities, she says. For Peach, who insisted the café use Di Bellas Felici blend, her own coffee making is about speed and consistency. The short macchiato I received on a busy morning was delivered in excellent shape, with notes of hazelnuts, dark chocolate and malt.
Kinfolk Café, 673 Bourke Street, city
Phone 0423 229 953
Barista Zuleika Peach
Coffee Di Bella
Baristas choice Three-quarter latte
Open Monday to Friday 7am-3pm
This earthy, relaxed café, a stones throw from Southern Cross Station, offers a little bit of the inner burbs in the city. Much of its charm comes from an art-student vibe and the love of the volunteers who put it together. Theres loads of recycled furniture, some of it made from the old Princes Pier, upturned rustic ladders used as bookcases, cosy seating on mismatched chairs and communal tables, and inclusive, friendly staff. The walls have been washed a fresh white, showcasing handwritten signs and dedications, including a list of the names of staff and volunteers, and a striking hand-painted tree mural by Datsun Tran with tiny bird plaques nestled in its branches.