Sean Goedecke is a freelance writer trying to visit every cafe in Australia. If you enjoy his articles, it can't hurt to click the 'like' link at the bottom or subscribe.
Published August 29th 2012
Give without expectation
For five years Kere Kere has been many things: a successful Melbourne University coffee shop, a source of employment for disadvantaged young people, and a charitable organization that donates twelve thousand dollars a year to causes chosen by the customers themselves. Sound good? Well, now it's a franchise as well. This year, owner James Murphy has branched out and opened up a Kere Kere coffee shop in Southbank, at the Boyd Community Hub, 207 City Road.
You might already know it as 'that coffee shop with the playing cards'. Instead of getting a piece of paper with your name on it when you place your order, the barista will give you a large card from a battered deck, and when your coffee comes, they'll call out what card you've drawn. They've even written up a charming little 'Kerescope', where you can tell your fortune based on the number and suit. But the fun doesn't end there. When you collect your coffee, you put your card back in a box with four categories: Social, Cultural, Environmental and Health. At the end of the month, the category with the most cards gets a thousand-dollar donation, taken straight out of the owner's profits.
James is an all-round great guy. Visit regularly and he'll shout you the occasional free coffee, or if you show up around closing time he might give away the leftover pastries. Moreover, Kere Kere's practice is to employ young people who might not be able to find work otherwise: people from underprivileged backgrounds, for instance. Even if he didn't make the best coffee in Melbourne University, in Southbank – and, arguably, in Melbourne – it'd still be worth giving him your money.