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Coffee, Community, Careers

Sit down, have a coffee, a tea, a sandwich. An everyday habit but, according to Bec Scott, “there's just so many ways that we can create good with one simple little action that you take every day to get a coffee”.


Bec is co-founder and chief executive of STREAT, a Melbourne based social enterprise that helps young people find their place in the world.


Since opening their doors in 2009, STREAT’s  various training and outreach programs have provided a bridge to employment for young people facing challenges causing disadvantage.


These programs help young people build work experience and hospitality qualifications from regular training across STREAT’s businesses, while also adding stability and health back into their lives.


“We're trying to take people who might not have otherwise had access to the finances or opportunities, and we're trying to give them a place in our community to start thriving,” Bec says.


Late last year STREAT opened a café inside ANZ’s campus at 839 Collins Street in Melbourne. According to Bec, this partnership was a deliberate and considered one, both for ANZ and STREAT.


“We tend to find the corporates that we partner with start to feel quite connected to our work because it is tangible social change embedded in your organisation,” she says. “So I think we're just starting to plant some little seeds here that will grow and grow and get a lot of nourishment and fertilization over the next couple of years.


“So not only when your staff drink their caffeine and have their great meals are they starting to bring about social change but I think a little piece of magic happens every time your staff can see the direct social impact that they can have.”


More than a coffee


That magic has already started to be seen at ANZ. In October last year ANZ staff purchased over 3000 hot beverages. And the number one choice? A latte.


ANZ staff - like Kim Downs and Crosbie Vinten - are drawn to STREAT for both its great tasting coffee and its social impact.


“It tastes great,” says Kim. “That’s the primary reason I started coming here. The social cause keeps me coming back.”


Crosbie agrees: “I’m massively into reducing waste, so I love the fact they don’t have coffee cups.”

STREAT’s café at ANZ boasts a 100% reusable cup ratio. If ANZ staff don’t have a keep cup on hand they can take mugs from the café to their desks anywhere in the building.


“The fact that they don’t use take away cups, that you can bring your own cup, I think all those things together just make it an opportunity that you can’t miss,” says Kim.


 “It’s not just a transaction; we’re actually participants in something bigger.”

Green for good

Sustainability is a huge focus for STREAT. Bec sees its importance in every choice the company makes. Coffee is ethically roasted in STREAT’s own Roastery in Collingwood while coffee grounds from every cup served are reused in either our worm farms at Collingwood or collected and reused at the Melbourne Zoo.


 “When you buy this coffee, it is a little group hug,” Bec says. “This is not just a tiny little piece of caffeine. This is you giving a group hug to people on the planet.


“One of the things that I just love about the simple act of having a STREAT coffee is that a coffee just isn't a coffee. A coffee just isn't caffeine. It can be transformative. It can change the world for people, but it can also change the planet.


“I think we've got so much in common and I hope this is just the start of many things to come.”



Good coffee doing good

Partnering with large corporates assists social enterprise STREAT in helping disadvantaged young people.

Brewing change for disadvantaged youth

When a café is not just a café

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