What’s the social or environmental cause your enterprise addresses?
We have three main aims:
1. PROVIDE TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES: We provide hospitality training to young people with additional learning needs through our Tiered Training & Transition (TTT) program.
2. PRODUCE ZERO WASTE: We’ve never had disposable takeaway cups; in our first year we prevented more than 10,000 takeaway cups from ending up in landfill. We produce as close to zero waste as possible, with a comprehensive compost system; an emphasis on reducing, refusing, reusing and refilling before recycling; tailoring our menu and specials to the seasons and what’s in surplus; and inspiring or changing our suppliers to help limit operational waste. We weigh and record our waste every day so we can continually learn and improve.
3. GENERATE INCOME: All profits from Moon Rabbit support underfunded programs at The Bridge, our parent organisation.
Describe your trading activity (what do you sell and who are your customers?)
Our café sells delicious coffee, cakes, jaffles and salads in Melbourne’s north. We also provide fresh, seasonal catering for breakfasts, lunches, meetings and events further afield. Many of our café regulars are local residents and workers, or people with some connection to the Bridge: staff, volunteers, students, childcare families, venue hirers, etc. A lot of our customers have become catering clients, too; this part of our business has grown organically thanks to them.
How are you going with the work?
We just won two awards, so great! (Moon Rabbit won the Creating Local Solutions Award at the 2019 Victorian Learn Local Awards, for our TTT training program, and the Sustainability Award at the 2019 Darebin Community Awards for our environmental impact.) Business is growing due to positive media coverage and word of mouth.
What is the biggest challenge?
Balancing growth with our staffing capacity. We have to say no to some opportunities occasionally because we don’t yet have the resources to devote to them.
What is your hope for the future?
To increase our capacity to provide training opportunities for young people with additional learning needs, which is the main reason we exist.