Food & Drink

Foods For Good | Melbourne’s Top Eats & Drinks That Give Back

By Hannah Valmadre
3rd Nov 2015


Sometimes we’re just so darn proud of our city, and the growing number of socially aware cafes, restaurants, and foodie products in Melbourne fill us with happiness in more ways than one. Of course, social enterprise eateries are not something new to Melbourne, considering Feast of Merit, Streat and Lentil as Anything have been doing a lot of good for quite some time now. The number of businesses who are keen to give back socially is constantly on the rise in Melbourne, and we’re here to point you in the right direction to do the right thing.

#1: Karma Burger at 1000£ Bend

The legends at Karma Cola have joined forces with 1000£ Bend to bring you the Karma Burger, which will be available from the 15th of November for a month. $1 from every Karma Burger sold will go to the Karma Cola Foundation, which supports cola farmers in Sierra Leone by helping them develop resources and sustainable, economic independence. So what’s in it? Well, Karma Cola braised beef, smoked cheddar, beef pattie, green chilli coleslaw and pickles in a delicious bun. Stop drooling and get down there STAT.

#2: Thankyou

The good folk at Thankyou originally started as a bottled water company that aimed to lessen the devastating numbers of the world’s population who don’t have access to clean water. Thankyou then expanded into a food and body care range, because they’re an ambitious bunch who truly believe that you can always do more. To date, Thankyou has brought 170,177 people access to safe water, and access to hygiene and sanitation programs for another 231,582. On top of this, they have also brought 19.1 million days worth of food access for people in need. Epic result, team Thankyou!

#3: Brewmanity

The aim of the game is simple at Brewmanity: Be a good brewmanitarian, and drink beer for goodness sake! The beer itself is their independently crafted 141 Pale Ale, where every one beer sold provides one days worth of clean drinking water for those who need it. The major charity partner is the Cure for Motor Neuron Disease Foundation, where 10% of the profits go directly to them. To do your bit, check if your local stocks their Pale Ale, and encourage them to run a Brewmanity Hour to raise some funds. And here we were thinking we couldn’t possibly need another incentive to sip on a cold beer this summer…

#4: Kinfolk

At Kinfolk, they really give a fork about making sure your dollars make a difference. 100% of the profits are distributed between Kinfolk’s charity partners, including The Cathy Freeman Foundation and Urban Seed, which is made possible by their excellent team of volunteers who keep the café running to perfection. On top of all this do-gooding, this social enterprise café serves up a kick-ass coffee and seasonal menu with local and sustainable produce. What’s not to like?

#5: Shebeen

Drinking international beers doesn’t just have to be a luxury experience, it can also help a lot of people out. At CBD bar Shebeen, 100% of the profits goes to aid organisations in the developing world, and each beverage purchased is linked with a different organisation. Simon Griffiths, the owner of the bar, is also responsible for another social enterprise, Who Gives A Crap toilet paper. Other than having a sensational name, 50% of the profits go towards WaterAid to build toilets in developing countries, so it is well worth investing in a few rolls.

#6: Long Street Coffee

Richmond’s latest coffee hot spot, Long Street Coffee, is getting the credit it deserves, as they are truly embodying the spirit behind Real Australians Say Welcome. Husband and wife duo Francois and Jane Marx wanted to create employment opportunities for young refugees and asylum seekers, as well as providing excellent hospitality service for those who drop by. Employees are provided with a 6-month paid traineeship in the hospitality industry and are assisted with finding ongoing employment, because at the end of the day, everyone deserves a fair go.

#7: San Churro

As of this October, San Churro has become the first chocolate café chain in Australia to commit to purchasing cocoa under the new Fairtrade Cocoa Program, which will be used in 70% of their new menu items. What this means is that funds go towards improving cocoa farmers livelihood, so you get a premium product and those who farmed it are taken care of. San Churro was also the first national café chain to use organic fair trade coffee, so they’re not new to being ethically awesome. Embracing the fried doughnut goodness of churros has never been sweeter.

#8: Charcoal Lane

Brought to you by Mission Australia, this social enterprise restaurant trains Indigenous hospitality students to become skilled in the hospitality workforce. Charcoal Lane serves up native Australian flavours in a contemporary seasonal menu; one of many intriguing menu items is their Chargrilled Emu Fillet, with saltbush and potato gratin, rainforest cherry reduction and pear balsamic glaze. They also cater for functions and do group dining if there are more than a few of you tagging along for dinner. When a cause is this good, we say the more the merrier.

#9: Loving Earth

This Melbourne-based company is fast becoming known for their raw organic chocolate with flavours such as Salted Caramel, Coconut Mylk and Raspberry to name a few. As well as being an excellent sweet tooth satisfier, they stick close to their philosophy of healthy, sustainable and fair for all of their products. The purpose of Loving Earth is to make food that honours both the Indigenous people that have cultivated the ingredients and the ecosystems in which they are grown. Head to their website for a full list of foodie bits and bobs, and give mother nature a high-five while you’re at it.

#10: Suspended Coffee Society Melbourne

I’m sure many of us can appreciate the power of a good coffee when it comes to lifting your spirits and making life that little bit more manageable. Well, the Suspended Coffee Society gives you the opportunity to pay for a coffee in advance for someone who may really need one but can’t afford it. In Melbourne there are currently 83 cafes involved, including Amici Café in Prahran, Garden View Café in Fitzroy, and Soul Kitchen Café in the CBD. Get your day off to an excellent start by helping someone else, because every coffee counts.

Want more good stuff? Check out our interview with the Who Gives A Crap founder, Who Gives A Crap? This Guy Does. 

Image credit: Thankyou via Facebook

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