This initiative grew out of a long term committed Christian community development presence in the disadvantaged Tanti Park (Mornington Park) neighbourhood. Our neighbourhood faith community, Jigsaw, had long held desires to address the need for a positive third place in our community, and also to provide employment and training opportunities for our young people who can struggle to get a fair go.
In 2017 all the pieces came together with a shopfront in the middle of our neighbourhood coming up for lease. It was vacated by the local primary school op shop that we supported the set up of a couple of years ago. We also met a local lady who’d begun doing coffee herself out of the op-shop, and connected this with friends who own a coffee roastery and some other café’s on the Mornington Peninsula. Finally, it was great to get support from Baptcare and the Innovate program, as well as our local council and Federal MP to make it possible!
We launched a couple of weeks ago with a big street party, and while we’re still in the middle of making it all work week to week its been amazing already to see local young people employed and doing great work, and heaps of friends from our neighbourhood hanging out in the café with big smiles on their faces!
HomeGround’s mission is to support young people and create community and belonging in its local neighbourhood and the wider Mornington Peninsula region. We also sling top notch Commonfolk coffees and make great food too!
There are three key areas Home Ground focuses on:
1. Providing vocational training and employment pathways for young people who are struggling to get a fair go! Hospitality and tourism has the highest skills shortage of any sector on the Mornington Peninsula, and at the same time we have some of the highest youth unemployment in Victoria! Home Ground provides an opportunity for young people to start a journey towards a fulfilling career in the industry. Home Ground partners with Commonfolk Coffee Co to connect with local industry leaders to provide onsite experience to its trainees and offer a glimpse into the some of the best restaurants and cafes on the Peninsula. Upon completion of their training our trainees will be supported to find lasting employment in our cafe and/or the wider industry.
2. Creating a place to call home! We want our community to be part of creating a 'third place' in our local neighbourhood. A place to hang out, meet new people, and share a sense of belonging, connectedness and friendship. Home Ground has been fitted out with consultation with the local community so the space creates an aesthetic that fits the community and gives them a sense of ownership of the cafe. Home Ground is a place that people feel included and welcome. Community groups are invited to regularly use the café premises as a place for their activities and events.
3. Providing education and connection around healthier food and access to local foods and community meals. Home Ground will work with local community garden which Jigsaw also was part of setting up and other local growers to focus menu items on locally sourced and grown produce. We will develop a supply chain that aims to have a positive environmental and social impact. Our menu will be accessible but healthy. We are keen to offer community cooking and meals that give people from our local community an opportunity to share skills and create awareness around healthy eating.
Check it out at: https://www.facebook.com/homegroundcoffeecompany/