A Café Culture of Community

A cosy little café Kitchen Kultcha on Glenlyon Road in Brunswick is doing something extra special. Head chef Daniel buys local for his kitchen. Not just ‘market garden’ local, but produce from home gardens in the neighbourhood!

The town where Daniel grew up in New Zealand had a strong sense of community. “Most of the food we ate came from our backyard and from neighbours and friends.” Now Daniel wants to recreate this through the culture of the café.

Daniel points out that not long ago very few cafés sourced free range eggs and customers had to specifically ask where eggs came from. The balance has shifted and now free range are the norm in most cafés. He now hopes to do the same with organic pork and by sourcing food from the community. He hopes these actions will help will build a trend towards sustainable living being the norm.

Kitchen Kultcha’s local produce initiative is advertised only through a small sign in their window, and most people find out by word of mouth. Most days see people bringing in something for the café, usually from the immediate neighbourhood. After checking it for quality and price, Daniel finds it is easier to barter produce for something of equal value from the the menu. This avoids issues with paying and people trying to make a quick buck, but mainly it fosters building relationships and a sense of community in the local area.

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