THERE’S always a warm and friendly welcome extended to everyone passing through the period-style woven-wire gate in Court Street in Foster that leads the way to the Community Café at Manna Gum Community House.
The Manna Gum Community Café is a social enterprise run entirely (and cheerfully!) by a group of dedicated volunteers from throughout the Corner Inlet district for local people and visitors alike.
The Café is open every Monday and Tuesday from 10 am to 2 pm, and serves good coffee and tea, together with a complimentary piece of homemade cake or slice.
Also available at the Community Cafe is a varying choice of brunch and light luncheon dishes, such as toasties, filled crepes and soup, with the actual menu on any particular day dependent on the time of year and who’s on duty.
The Café itself was given a complete makeover during the COVID-19 pandemic and it now boasts an even greater level of inviting ease, with fresh paintwork and carpet, comfortable chairs, and a lively flow of interesting conversation.
An undercover outdoor area includes more tables and seating as well as a library corner of books that Café patrons and community members may donate to and borrow from, choose a volume to keep, or swap one for another.
For those with young children, the Community Café s a great space to meet up with other families as there’s an enclosed garden with a cubby and toys to keep the kids happy while their parents sit back with a hot drink and some company.
The Community Café’s volunteers are talented, multi-skilled and charming; they prepare all of the food, operate the coffee machine, wait on tables and wash the dishes, and are ready for a chat at any time with anyone!
In addition, the volunteers have made themselves responsible for making the remarkable range of homemade jams, relishes, chutneys, cordials and hand-crafted gifts that may be found at the miniature shop on shelves inside the Community Café.
Manna Gum volunteers are currently in the process of preparing vast batches of preserves and other goodies in order to have plenty of stock ready to sell at the series of street stalls Manna Gum has planned between now and Christmas.
Manna Gum’s pop-up stall will be operating in the Main Street laneway in Foster on the last Friday of October and November, and then on every Friday in December.
There will also be raffles held every month, and a monster raffle will be drawn in December.
All of the donations made to the Community Café, along with the funds generated by the Café’s food service and the sales of preserves, gifts and raffle tickets go to support Manna Gum’s community services and programs for the Corner Inlet district.