All Things Equal Cafe celebrates its first anniversary

January 30, 2022 by Nomi Kaltmann
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It has been one year since the All-Things Equal Cafe launched in Melbourne. A registered charity, All Things Equal is a fresh take on the typical cafe in Melbourne, providing purposeful employment for people with and without disability in a ‘mainstream’ work environment.

The café was founded by a talented board of well-known Jewish community members including Jonathan Wenig, a partner at Arnold Bloch Leibler, Dean Cohen, the CEO of Flying Fox Services and Kate Weis, the founder of the Table of Plenty. Other board members include Sam Herszberg, Anna Scholten and Olivia Sandler.

Since launching 12 months ago, the café has successfully employed 14 persons with disability, who have weekly paid shifts at the Carlisle St coffee shop. The opportunity to work in hospitality has proven very valuable to employees with disability, who take on roles at both the front and back of the café, including serving customers, taking orders, preparing coffees and food.

“We believe that all people should be able to find a self-sustaining purpose in life, allowing everyone to contribute to society in a meaningful way, and maintain a sustainable income, regardless of having a disability or not,” said board member Jonathan Wenig.

While the café also employs persons without disability, for many young persons with disability this is the first time that they have had access to paid to work.

“We have been blown away by the community response to our café,” said Wenig. “The most beautiful thing about being human is how different we are from each other. The community is made up of beautifully different people, each with a distinctly unique personality. At All Things Equal we believe that everyone deserves to feel like they are part of this diverse community,” he said.

After a busy 12 months since launching, All Things Equal café is hoping to add a further 6 employees with disability to its roster of café staff. To date, the interest has been high, with demand for roles at the café outstripping current employment opportunities.

“At All Things Equal, we celebrate people just as they are; this is the very foundation of our vision,” said Bianca Stern, the café operation’s manager. “We are creating a café that is centered on a community where everyone is celebrated, all abilities are embraced, and everyone is equal,” she said.

All Things Equal invites the community to come and eat in its café and support young persons with disability.

More information can be found on the All Things Equal Facebook, Instagram or website.

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