Encouraging Future Baristas

Pippa McCreery @ 2023-02-22 12:02:18 +1000

‘I made the best coffee in the history of the world!’ a bold statement made by Jack, one of the participants in a return-to-work traineeship, offered through a partnership between social enterprise Eat For Your Life and the Institute of Culinary Excellence (ICE).  

The program offers applicants a fully paid traineeship in Certificate 1 in Hospitality and fully subsidised training in Certificate II kitchen operations. The eight successful applicants in this intake, receive training on the job with Eat for Your Life and specialist tuition from ICE which will help prepare them for successful hospitality careers.

ICE community cafe and merlo

Merlo Coffee is a major supporter of ICE, donating coffee every week for the participants to practice their coffee-making skills, and expert training from our in-house trainers.

These skills will be put to use when the Eat for Your Life, not-for-profit community café will open in the coming weeks.

Supporting the community café and the trainees are all part of Merlo’s way of giving back to the community.

‘It’s all about supporting those who need a little boost to get back on track. By providing the program with coffee and training, we hope we are helping just a little, and look forward to trying a coffee made with Merlo at the cafe in the not-too-distant future.’ says Merlo Founder, Dean Merlo.

The café will be open Mondays and Tuesdays 8.30am – 2.00pm, and available on other days to local community groups.

Staffed by the hospitality trainees completing the return-to-work program, the café will offer a welcoming safe space where people in the community can gather, chat, meet up and enjoy delicious Merlo coffee.

Eat For Your Life will also utilise food which may have otherwise been wasted from sources such as Second Bite and Foodbank to create free meals for those in need in the community. 

The trainees will plan, prepare and package healthy and nutritious food for the local community as part of the traineeship.

Next time you are in Coorparoo, drop into the community café and you never know Jack might be there making ‘the best coffee in the world’!