The old saying, ‘the way to the heart is through the stomach’ couldn’t be more true at West End’s The Hope Street Café. Having opened on Boundary Street late 2016, a twin establishment in South Brisbane is also under construction, both striving to showcase soulful cooking and local culture.

The Hope Street Café is an initiative designed to connect communities and provide opportunities for the less fortunate, and as the name suggests, spread a little ‘hope’. Collaborating with local organisation, Micah Projects, it serves to provide employment and training opportunities to individuals who have faced both personal and employment-related hardships, reinvesting all profits made back into Micah.

The café is a community space of connection and change, offering its cycle of visitors a safe spot to share, listen and discuss their stories with others, and helping its volunteers to deal with issues such as domestic abuse and homelessness. True to the name of the street its sits on in South Brisbane, it wants to create a comfortable environment for both its visitors and staff, with a strong emphasis on the importance of community building.

one_third]As well as providing skill-based training and learning opportunities for its staff by partnering with TAFE Queensland Brisbane to help its volunteers achieve a certificate in hospitality, The Hope Street Café will also act as platform for local artists and musicians to showcase their talents.

Café chef, Phyllis, is passionate about supporting local producers and developing a rotational menu which adapts with the seasonal availability of Brisbane’s produce. Phyllis also chooses to work closely with volunteers, adding recipes to the menu that are meaningful to them.

“I had a stroke when I was 30, so my motor skills aren’t the best. I’m learning new ways to do things, like chopping an onion into really fine slices. Phyllis is great, there’s no pressure. We sync up pretty well. She calls a spade a spade, which you have to, in a kitchen,” says volunteer, Andre.

If you’re keen for a bite, or for a little community culture, the Hope St Café is located at 170 Boundary Street. The South Brisbane establishment on Hope Street is expected to open in the coming months.