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Rotary coffee van to teach barista skills

Rotary coffee van
Matt Griffiths in the soon to be renovated coffee van provided by Rotary Bundaberg.

The Rotary Club of Bundaberg is out to prove that a little coffee van can go a long way towards improving barista educational services in the region.

The club is converting its food van into a coffee van, with the vision of having it used by schools, TAFE and other educational organisations to train the Bundaberg Region’s next generation of baristas and raise valuable funds.

Bundaberg Rotary secretary Matt Griffiths said the plan followed discussions in the club about how infrequently the food van was used.

“I know that all of the high schools and TAFEs are doing a lot of barista training,” Matt said.

“(So we thought) let’s get something that they can use for their sports days or cultural events and then, if we can let it out as a service project, and schools get to keep the operating profit, then they can re-use that (profit) as well.

“The idea is (selling) coffee, donuts and toasted wraps. Nothing too outrageous, just nice, simple easy things.

“Hopefully, the schools might then be able to reinvest that money into something that they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.”

Matt said the club had been in discussion with schools and TAFE colleges throughout the region and reaction to the proposal had been overwhelmingly positive, with the institutions recognising the benefits of on-the-job training.

“They’re all asking me ‘when is it going to be finished'?” he said.

“It’s one thing for kids to get training at school on how to make coffee, dealing with the public can be something totally different.”

Matt hoped to have the Rotary coffee van refurbished and ready for use by February 2021 but admitted there was a lot that needed to be done before then to meet that goal.

Alterations have already been completed to the van’s internal layout to enable four people to work comfortably inside and to provide them with improved entry and exit access.

Matt said the club was considering getting school students involved in the project.

“We’ve also got to look at the signage,” he said.

“One of the ideas someone has suggested to me is that we run an art competition with the schools.

“We’ve got four sides of the van, maybe we could get four murals or something like that, so that the students get a wee bit of a buy-in.”

How to help the Rotary coffee van

Rotary Club of Bundaberg is seeking a suitable coffee machine to be installed into the van and Matt is confident that it, and other items needed for the facility to become fully operational, would successfully be sourced from the community.

“We definitely feel that this project is something that the community should be able to get behind,” he said.

“If there are any electricians or anyone else who wants to give us a hand, they can feel free to contact us as well.”

Anyone willing to help Rotary Club of Bundaberg establish the coffee van service can phone Matt Griffiths on 0407 726 982.

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