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Building Community and Healthy Habits with the Migrant Coffee Team

We chat with the team at Migrant Coffee about how they have built a community around health and balance at their cafe, starting with humble beginnings in Melbourne's West.

What inspired you to start Migrant Coffee, and how does it contribute to building community in your area?

Migrant Coffee Team: The inspiration was exactly that - to build community. We didn't see a lot of women of colour running cafes in Melbourne and knew we could create a spot where people who look like us and have similar experiences could feel comfortable. My mother passed away shortly before we (my best friend/business partner Stacey and I) started working on Migrant.

Knowing that the work we were doing was to honour her and the migrant experience gave us really clear direction on how to navigate business with culture. One of our strongest references is how our migrant mothers created and maintained their own Filipino and Thai communities in Australia. As we see the gentrification of the inner West gain full steam we use this as a guide to build our community to preserve the energy of what makes the West really unique.    

Can you share some of the ways Migrant Coffee promotes healthy habits among its customers?

MCT: We push kindness and family. It's really simple but we genuinely care about our team and the people who come through our doors. We find folks are more likely to talk to their neighbour, say what's up to the table beside them or hold the door for the next person. It's a healthy mindset action that started from a habit and has become ingrained in the Migrant experience. 

How do you source and select your coffee beans to ensure quality and sustainability?

MCT: In our retail offering we highlight small coffee companies like Akasya Kape who are leading the way in bringing Filipino beans to Australia. They work on establishing not only viable supply but close cultural connections with the growers in The Philippines.

The Sarcepuedes sisters at Akasya can literally tell you the names of the people who harvested and processed the coffee beans of each batch, so you can see in real time how a sale of the final product from our shelves impacts the community where the beans originated from. For our coffees we've rocked with Coffee Supreme since opening for our coffee supply. They're been in the game for such a long time and a big part of that reason is because their business is built on long term relationships all along the supply chain. 

What role do you see Migrant Coffee playing in fostering a sense of belonging and inclusivity for all members of the community?

MCT: Migrant is one of the only QWOC-owned and fully operated venues in Melbourne - we get it. We understand what it is to not be invited to the table so we've been building our own and invite everyone to eat.   

How do you envision the future of Migrant Coffee in terms of continued community engagement and support for health and wellness initiatives?

MCT: We stay working to continue to build Migrant so we can always provide this space and represent for our people. 

Keep up with Migrant Coffee HERE.


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