It’s not unusual to see a crowd at Alley Cat Coffee in East Maitland but this weekend marked the beginnings of something special for the quirky sustainable social enterprise, as owner Bella Rossini officially launched in her new digs.
She’s a well known name in the East Maitland community, mostly for the consistently great coffee poured from the hallmark teardrop coffee cart but not least for her genuine efforts to give back to communities that reach far beyond her own front door.
Until now, Ms Rossini has been operating as an activist - it’s a model that sees an idea take up residence for a set period of time to literally drum up business and generate energy to an area, to literally test how viable a permanent like business would fare.
Having spent a longer than expected stint in East Maitland’s Melbourne Street, Ms Rossini recently moved to a more permanent setting at the rear of the street behind Rustic Antiques.
While the new space sees her and son Will continue with Alley Cat Coffee Cart - it’s also provided the perfect home to other initiatives close to her heart.
A percentage of funds from every coffee sold feeds her work in several aid for trade projects including the training of midwives in a tiny village of Africa called Sra.
In early 2019, the coffee cart will share its new home with a textile printing project that will produce baby wraps, coffee bags and bunting to again raise money for the Sra community.
Jazz singer JJ King and local Liz delighted the crowd of loyal locals at Saturday morning’s launch with smooth sounds and a song inspired by the coffee enterprise called Bella’s Cafe.
“I sit here every Monday morning having a coffee, hearing people literally off load their troubles - it’s like a little slice of therapy and so it inspired the song. There’s so much more that goes on than coffee here,” King said.