The old saying, ‘the way to the heart is through the stomach’ could not be truer at West End’s The Hope Street Café.

New to Boundary Street in late 2016, the eatery aims to spread a little hope to those in need, whilst showcasing soulful cooking and supporting local culture.

Behind the café’s welcoming and casual exterior is compelling action and a meaningful message. Collaborating with local organisation Micah Projects, The Hope Street Café is a social enterprise designed to connect communities and provide opportunities for those facing barriers to training and employment. “Micah Projects in a not-for-profit community organisation and works with people from diverse backgrounds who regularly express a desire for greater connection in community both socially and economically, and so the Hope Street Café social enterprise was developed,” says team member Majella Nicolo.

With a strong emphasis on community building, the café is frequented by a stream of volunteers from countless backgrounds, all of whom are given the chance to develop their skills in hospitality.

“Poverty, social exclusion and isolation continue to impact many people who live in Brisbane and the housing crisis shows no signs of abating, particularly in the South Bank and cultural precinct where affordable housing is at a premium,” Micah Projects CEO Karyn Walsh explains.

The café is a space of connection and change, offering its cycle of visitors a safe spot to share, listen and discuss their stories with others over a steaming cup of coffee and tasty, homestyle nosh. “It is a place where people from all walks of life come together. Eating great local food with soul, enjoying a drink ¬ a carefully crafted specialty coffee or fine tea ¬ connecting with people over a meal, or at an event. Here is a space that both celebrates local creativity and enables it.”

With all of the profits being reinvested straight back into the social enterprise, The Hope Street Café will leave you feeling fuller inside after a visit, and not just because of the delicious food on the menu.

“Hope Street Café offers freshly prepared, homemade meals, well-crafted coffee and organic teas. The café boasts a nourishing lunch menu focused on seasonal, local produce from independently run producers around Brisbane. Our menu changes daily and includes gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options.”

The Hope Street enterprise has even garnered support from TAFE Queensland Brisbane, allowing participants the chance to complete a Certificate II in Hospitality. “Our ultimate goal is to connect participants with clear employment pathways within the local hospitality industry, especially local coffee roasters, cafés and restaurants. This pathway from internal to external work experience will build more confidence and allow people to move from theory to practice in a safe, supportive environment.”

Located at 170 Boundary Street, The Hope Street Café will open a second venue in March, located within the Brisbane Common Grounds on the ground floor. Just like the current space, the second Hope Street establishment aims to help spread Micah’s hope a little further.