Restaurant News

Sydney social enterprise Two Good takes on an ambitious new hospitality project

The enterprise, which focuses on empowering and employing women escaping trauma, has opened its own brick-and-mortar café at Yirranma Place: a new Sydney incubator for social enterprises and not-for-profits.

By Jordan Kretchmer
Two Good café. Photo: supplied.
From the moment social enterprise Two Good sent out the first jarred salad they've been focused on empowering women. While it's a neat spot to grab a coffee, warm-up with a golden, crisp toastie or sit back with the soup, it's just a slice of their presence at the new Yirranma Place hub for non-profits.
"Originally there was a tender just to do the café – and we thought why not do the whole food and beverage service for the building, the catering and the concierge, to really own the arrival journey of people entering the building," says Two Good founder Rob Caslick. Yirranma Place serves as the permanent home of the Paul Ramsay Foundation. "This building is where social enterprises and not for profits can rent space; or work in incubators," says Caslick. This is where Two Good steps in, providing catering to other purpose-lead organisations, and also a concierge and arrival service for the wider building. It's a step away from Two Good's main remit of food training and service; but it's one that's been informed by their great relationship with the hospitality sector.
Yirranma Place. Photo: supplied
Ahead of taking on the task, Caslick called upon the team at QT Hotel for advice on how to make the experience work. "I was speaking with the manager at QT Sydney and I asked, 'How do you approach doing a concierge service?' and in a quite Yoda-like way he's says: 'Let your values guide you'." From here, Two Good have stayed true to their ethos of instilling confidence in women from domestic violence backgrounds to create their own Goodcierge. It ties into Two Good's Work Work training program and is the second step for women to hone their hospitality skills by undertaking paid on-the-job training. "Our headquarters in Eveleigh is the first program: it's a six month program, and it really is a women's shelter or transitional accommodation so it's where women can come to gain confidence," says Caslick. "The Goodcierge is the second program, for the women who have identified they want to work in hospitality, then they come here next."
Alongside the concierge service, Two Good also look after catering for the building, where they prepare nourishing meals for the teams in the building. This also links to the café, which has a similar offering. "Where possible we've used social enterprises within the menu; Bread and Butter Project and Kua Coffee," says Caslick. You'll also find a rotating chef-designed menu, perhaps a croque monsieur; or smoked chicken caesar salad with asparagus and horseradish by Matt Moran; or tuna, brown rice, dill and egg salad; or gluten-free berry almond coconut cake by Belinda Jeffrey.
"We've had these relationships since we started making Two Good's original salad jars," says Caslick. Like the Goodcierge, the Two Good Café employs women to rebuild self worth and independence, in order to help them break the cycle of disadvantage. "The people that are working here are taking care of other people, so there's a sense of empowerment, '' says Caslick. "We've added a layer of empathy to the building. People are coming back, knowing that something bigger is going on."
Two Good Café
262 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst, NSW. Open for breakfast and lunch Monday to Friday.
  • undefined: Jordan Kretchmer