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Darcy St Project Epping Community Cafe Grand Opening

Darcy St Project Epping Community Cafe Grand Opening

Macquarie Community College is set to unveil the Darcy Street Project Epping Community Cafe at the Boronia Grove Centre in Epping.  Thecafé will be open to the public on Friday 25th November, with its official opening on Thursday 1st December.

The Boronia Grove Community Centre recently underwent a $1.95 million revamp, and the social enterprise café is the latest addition to the precinct after Macquarie Community College successfully pitched to Parramatta Council to be the proprietor of the café in partnership with Darcy Street Project.

Darcy Street Project is a social enterprise offering hospitality training and free meals to people facing barriers to employment like food insecurity, mental health and social exclusion.  Macquarie Community College Group Chief Executive Officer Theresa Collignon said the newest addition to the Darcy St Project enterprise would bring vibrancy to the centre and the community.

“This is a new chapter for Macquarie Community College. We are a social enterprise, and we are excited to join forces with another social enterprise such as Darcy St Project. Together we have a strong focus on community, training and social impact. It's about collaboration and partnering in an industry with instant employment options such as hospitality,” Ms Collignon said.

Macquarie Community College students will have the opportunity to use the café for hands on training while completing their formal qualifications in hospitality, including courses offering barista skills, food and beverage handling and service skills. Students would also learn critical skills to support them to work in a professional environment through the collaboration.

Creating employment pathways for students

Darcy St Project already operates across three sites in Sydney CBD, Macquarie Park and Moorebank and is excited to be expanding its reach by partnering with Macquarie Community College at Epping. Darcy Street Project Director John Cafferatta said students would learn a wide range of transferable skills through working at the cafe such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, critical thinking, digital literacy and financial literacy.

“What makes our training different or more effective is that they're prepared for real work life. It's not in a classroom, it's not simulated. It's serving real customers and real clients. They have to deal with problems as they occur,” Mr Cafferatta said.

“We find that 90% of students that spend three months with us in our cafe and catering operations, get jobs within three months.”

Coffee with a purpose

Through the partnership, Darcy Street Project Epping Community Cafe will gain access to a full commercial kitchen which will increase their capacity to do more catering and hire more students.

“We're just super excited to invite people to enjoy a first-class menu, have more students on the job practising that will need support, and to create a safe place for anyone to feel welcome,” Mr Cafferatta said.

Ms Collignon encouraged members of the community to come along to the café to enjoy delicious food and coffee with meaning.

“John is amazing but he's beyond just ‘here's your coffee.’ He's got a social purpose as a private entrepreneur; he’s about making the world a better place.”

Following the opening we are excited to announce that accredited hospitality training programs as well as a range of short courses will be available early in 2023. To find out more about our training programs and the Darcy Street Project Epping Community Cafe call Macquarie Community College today on 1300 845 888 or visit our website.

To hear more about Darcy Street Project visit

Boronia Grove Community Centre is located at 40 Victoria St, Epping NSW (Entry off Rawson St).