Sunday, 17 April 2011

Review: Ceres Café, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Ceres café is part of a unique, interesting organisation: the Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies.  The award winning centre is recognised as an international leader in community and environmental practice and consists of an organic farm, market, shop, cafe and nursery.The park where Ceres has built its community has been built on land that was once used for a landfill and wasteland...very fitting for such a social enterprise.

Ceres leads by example as all waste and water on site is recycled and the cafe kitchen runs from solar power...all actions helping in the journey towards a goal of making the site completely carbon neutral by 2012.

As well as their education programmes engaging schools and courses and workshops open to other members of the community, the site is also home to community groups such as the Bike Shed.  The Bike Shed help people who need a bike to repair an old one and also teach people how to fix and maintain bikes.  

We visited the cafe one hot summer’s Saturday late morning for a brunch.  Biking over there was lovely and when we arrived it was absolutely packed.  So busy infact that we had to sit out in the relentless sun which was definitely a disappointment.  It seemed that people were lining up their names on a waiting list for a shaded table.

Luckily it was not too long before we got ourselves into the shade and enjoyed our cool fruit drinks and strong coffees!  We ordered some food and had a look around at the allotments, bike shed and a lively notice board full of information about events, classes etc.

This café appeals to a wide range of people from families and young professionals to students and older people.  After scanning the varied menu we went for pretty standard ciabatta sandwiches, however, it took a very very long time for them to come.  When they arrived they were tasty but they were just simple ciabatta sandwiches and so I think in order to sustain how busy this place gets it needs to focus on gaining some swifter turn around times.  Overall though we really enjoyed our visit to the cafe and think it's model is inspirational and a great role model to others.


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