Cup from Above offers help to jobseekers and disadvantaged
by Jorja Orreal
A CAFE on Brisbane’s northside run entirely by volunteers is helping jobseekers boost their business credentials and upskill.
ASPLEY barista and business owner Adam Cocks has big ideas, and a big heart.
He uses his cafe, Cup from Above, as a vehicle to help disadvantaged and disabled residents gain expertise and experience in the hospitality industry.
Mr Cocks, a disability support worker for 10 years before opening the cafe in 2012, said there were very few legitimate options for locals to develop skills within their capabilities.
He now has 38 volunteers learning, gaining experience and helping out.
Bridgeman Downs resident Kenneth Horby, a recent cafe visitor, said he left the coffee haunt, at 1359 Gympie Rd, with “a nice feeling”.
“It’s good to know there are nice people out there,” he said.
“Adam was very hospitable, very friendly … he deserves some recognition.”
Among the cafe helpers is Bridgeman Downs mother and hospitality guru Dominique La Faber, who volunteers two days a week to help mentor those locals wanting experience.
“What Adam is doing here is great,” she said. “He has a massive impact in the community … with my expertise and availability, why wouldn’t I help?”
Volunteer Jordan Pickup said he was getting barista and hospitality qualifications and was hoping to gain a job from his experience.
Cup from Above gained national exposure when it launched its ‘suspended coffees’ initiative in April 2013. This allows people with extra change to buy an extra coffee, which is then ‘suspended’ until it can be served for free when someone comes along who needs some niceness in their life.
On April 1 this year, Mr Cocks launched ‘tucker tokens’ — the food alternative to ‘suspended coffees’. He said the free food had come in handy for many locals in need, including single mothers and the homeless.
Every Saturday night there is also a community concert at the cafe to raise money for different charities.
All proceeds from the cafe are ploughed back in to the business.
Mr Cocks said he was in the throes of turning the small business into a non-for-profit charity.