The Restore / by Amanda Jones

Sometimes a café is more than just a place for coffee and food. At The Restore in Seven Hills, which is both a café and second-hand clothing store, it's about more than just good coffee.
The Restore follows the model of cafes as a social enterprise. Once the site was just an old school op shop which looked like a chemist and had that tell-tale old clothes smell. Through the dedication of Heather Jackson and her team, however, the store was turned into a focal point for the community and a place where people can give back to those less fortunate.
Staffed by a mix of volunteers and paid staff, the café, which now has the feel of an old general store with dark wood beams and high ceilings, is able to return its profits into programs such as food relief packages that are distributed to those in need in the local community. Over sixty food parcels are shared each week with families and individuals.
The Restore also provides opportunities for those who may be down on their luck to get ahead. The café runs a training opportunity which turns clients into customers through pathways to paid employment. As Heather notes, what The Restore offers is "not just work experience, but a journey."
The espresso bar, located at the front of the café, serves Black Drum Roasters coffee from a sleek and compact silver Synesso machine that occupies pride of place in the front window. Food offerings range from simple toasts and croissants to sweet treats and healthy burgers.
Providing a natural place for clients or customers to sit and rest, patrons are greeted by the friendly store staff and welcomed into the community. This has led to numerous opportunities, for, as Heather highlights, "you just meet people when you start drinking coffee."
Ultimately, the aim is to have a viable café and second-hand store so that the enterprise can continue to be generous and with further development in the Seven Hills area, the future is looking bright for The Restore.