‘TRADITIONALLY Grounded’ has opened its doors in Ridge St, Nambucca Heads and a new chapter in the Nambucca Local Aboriginal Land Council’s efforts to generate creative opportunities for Aboriginal people.
Originally planned to be part of the popular Ecostore at Newville, it has instead landed in the heart of town, run by happy staff, who up until now have either faced barriers to work due to a disability or never worked before.
LALC CEO Louise Robinson said the initiative was a joint effort between CHESS, the Aboriginal Learning Circle, TAFE NSW and Nguralla that saw all staff working towards their Certificate II in Hospitality.
“Its part of the LALC’s economic development plan, but more importantly its all about “creating change ... not waiting for it to happen,” Louise told the Guardian.
This mantra appears on the café’s blackboard alongside the menu, which uses fresh local produce, organic and free range wherever possible.
Bush tucker also features with exclusive fudges delicately flavoured with lemon myrtle, lilly pilly and more.
Responsible for front-of-house is Naomi Campbell, who is loving her first taste of the role and its responsibilities.
“I’ve been focusing on keeping a fun family vibe happening here … we’re all having fun and we want our customers to be able to relax and enjoy themselves here too,” Naomi said.
“We want this to be a place where people enjoy their work … and that vibe will spread. Since opening we’ve had lots of positive feedback and ideas – hopefully we are changing stereotypes bit by bit … I feel very happy to be part of that.”
As well as delicious treats and great coffee in air-conditioned comfort Traditionally Grounded offers fresh juices, salads, sandwiches, quiches and much more, all made on-site daily.
Chef Luke Graham said after many years in hospitality the rewards of this job were much bigger.
“Teaching people new skills, seeing their confidence grow, as well as getting me back into a routine,” Luke said.
“We have a commercial fridge coming soon, so we’ll be offering soups and curries as we come into winter. This is an experiment – we are building something new and that’s exciting.”
Traditionally Grounded is open from 6am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 6am to noon on Saturdays.