Cafes That Are Killing It: cafe – SOCIETY MELBOURNE


Welcome back! Our ‘Cafes That Are Killing It’ series is now onto its fourth edition. This time, the spotlight on Brunswick-based social enterprise cafe! This micro-cafe is one of four social enterprises that makes up the Society Melbourne family – an organisation with the vision of eliminating youth homelessness in Australia. 

Here at Responsible Cafes, we were lucky enough to speak personally to Tenille, the co-founder and managing director of Society Melbourne about Here is what we learnt about this incredible cafe that provides pathways out of homelessness for young people! acts as a training ground for young people to learn the skills necessary to secure stable employment within the hospitality industry such as barista skills, food prep and customer service. Around 40 young people have moved through the 6-month program over the last 3 years, undertaking a step by step process to set them up for success and financial independence. And 100% of the profits at go back into the program to support the young people they work with!

In tandem with this, Society Melbourne also runs an initiative called OpenShift which allows other cafes and hospitality venues to get involved and make a positive social impact. This system connects’s training graduates with employment partners so that once young people have finished the program and hold relevant skills to what a business is looking for, Society Melbourne will set up an employee-employer connection and support this to ensure it is a positive ongoing relationship and provides ongoing employment for the young person. Amazing or what! 

 But supporting young people escape homelessness is not enough for this responsible cafe…  they are also focused on their environmental responsibility! is innovative in its consideration of sustainability – the café uses 100% renewable energy, is totally vegetarian, uses coffee-waste service ‘Reground’, has a worm farm and creates virtually no plastic waste. The team at understands the need to uphold an environment that young people can continue to thrive in. Sustainability is an important holistic part of the program and because the team is so passionate, it is easy to pass on knowledge and ideas and creates an environment where it is easy to have those discussions, and participants are involved in the work they do! 

 Located in a nook of Brunswick, cafe is surrounded by a community of people truly interested in being involved in a socially responsible organisation. As Tenille says, people come to us because they know they are getting coffee with a cause – to be enjoyed alongside its artisanal porridge, delicious toasties and homemade treats!