Imagine a world where all things were equal. There was no discrimination, diversity was embraced, and abled, disabled and anybody in between was treated the same. Unfortunately such a world is still a fantasy and worlds away. Yet it does exist – at a gorgeous café in the centre of Carlisle Street.
Walking in the door is like walking into any other charming café. It’s airy, spacious and light. Green foliage creates a wholesome feel, and friendly faces make you instantly welcome. The smell of ground coffee beans gives you a shot of positive energy and it’s a delight to sit down.
But what’s even more warming is that this regular café experience is extra special, because it’s staffed by people both with and without a disability. Based on the premise that everyone should be able to find a self-sustaining purpose in life and contribute to society in a meaningful way, the eatery employs a diverse range of people, celebrating them as they are and focusing on each individual’s unique qualities.
This ‘can do’ attitude is manifested in their scrumptious menu. With a Middle Eastern spin, you’ll find options like sizzling shakshuka, baked eggs bursting out of a rich tomato sauce, and chunks of creamy goat’s cheese. It’s served with fluffy warm pita to mop up all the secret spices. House-made hummus plate is a highlight, with Israeli-style pickles and falafel crunch. In true Melbourne style, there’s a staple smashed avo, with perfect poachies and a pistachio dukkah twist. Coffee lovers who want to live on the edge can try a turmeric latte and be on point with the latest café trend shaking our 2021 baristas and order it with ‘oat milk’ (anyone in the ‘know’ – soy and almond milk were so last year). Walk out the door with full bellies and even fuller hearts.
We’re a long way from all things being equal. But this café shows it not only can be done, but with good coffee too.
by Darielle Ben-David
All Things Equal
263 Carlisle Street, Balaclava VIC 3183
Open: Tue to Fri 7:30am–3pm, Sat & Sun 8am–3pm
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