By Taylah Eastwell
Providing the perfect blend of great coffee with community atmosphere, social enterprise cafe L’Arte Central celebrated their grand opening on Saturday 5 October.
The cafe has been established to bridge the gap between mental health and employment, providing placements for between eight and 20 jobseekers at a time to assist in the development of work related skills, experience and qualifications.
An art studio will also be available for use at the cafe, alongside access to a life skills program.
Managing director of L’Arte Central, Drew Gormlie, said he was extremely encouraged by the support the cafe is receiving and could not have asked for a better result.
The grand opening saw the enterprise exceed both its indoor and outdoor seating capacity, accommodating over 150 people all day long.
“A number of members from our board spoke on the day about the different things we are planning to do and all the great supporters we have had,” Mr Gormlie said.
Casey artist Jane Marquis was also in attendance, working on her abstract painting titled ‘Freedom’ at the cafe.
The cafe has welcomed over $140,000 of financial and non-financial contributions from various community members and organisations, including over 400 litres of paint donated by Dulux to assist with renovations.
Moving forward, the cafe is now focused on developing relationships with NDIS placement provider The Bridge in Springvale, MAX Employment in Cranbourne, Brotherhood of St Laurence in Frankston and local schools to provide traineeships and help over 400 people get back on their feet in the next few years.
The cafe was presented with an opening plaque by Casey mayor Amanda Stapledon who said L’Arte is a real blessing to the community.
“It was a very exciting opening full of wonderful supporters and it is going to be a really holistic benefit to the community,” Cr Stapledon said.