Hamlet is Tasmania’s Community Cafe Tackling the Barriers to Employment One Meal at a Time

Since 2016 Hamlet Cafe in the heart of Hobart has been providing training opportunities and empowering Tasmanians. We spoke to Hamlet’s founder Emily Briffa, about Hamlet’s incredible partnership with Hobart City Mission celebrating their 10,000th meal, providing food relief to community members in need. 

(Photography: Hamlet)

Emily moved to Tasmania after working in prominent Melbourne restaurant Kinfolk 6 years ago, “I moved to Tasmania by myself and was living with a family friend who worked for the Department of Health and Human Services, I was quite naive and I just started to be more exposed to the issue of unemployment in Tasmania,” Emily explains.

Inspired by her brother Jarrod Briffa (Kinfolk Melbourne), Emily fell in love with the idea of a social enterprise cafe that could train and break down the barriers faced by people with disabilities, individuals who are long-term unemployed and those with low levels of English language to gain training opportunities in meaningful employment, “When Jarrod started Kinfolk I was helping out and I just thought it was really quite beautiful this sort of idea that people could give back, and support their community without changing their daily routine,” Emily tells The Social Catalog

“I loved this idea that people could just buy their regular morning coffee, not changing their routine, but by buying that cup of coffee they were contributing to positive social change.”

- Emily Briffa, Founder of Hamlet

(Photography: Hamlet)

“I was speaking to a lot of local organisation finding similar answers, the barriers people face in securing employment came from not having previous work experience or references. People we’re stuck in a vicious cycle that’s all too familiar, that you need prior experience to get a job but you can’t get a job without experience.”

Hamlet first started in 2016, training volunteers, people with disabilities and those with limited English skills training opportunities and work experience in hospitality. “It was just such an amazing opportunity, watching these individuals grow and refine their skills, achieving their goals and gaining so much confidence within themselves” Emily explains.

“It was quite a beautiful moment for us to that by providing people with disability this opportunity they can often exceed everyone’s expectations,”

- Emily Briffa, Founder of Hamlet

(Photography: Hamlet)

Hamlet’s cafe is slinging some classic favourites with a new spin like their parmesan omelette sandwich with smashed peas, herbs + broad bean leaves, or classic ham and cheese toastie with Scottsdale ham, Fontella, piccalilli and spinach. COVID came with challenges for the Hobart cafe’ but they kept providing opportunities within their community and transitioned with their Take n’ Bake menu, whilst also providing food relief to Hobart City Mission. 

(Photography: Hamlet)

“When restrictions came into place and limits were placed on purchasing everyday groceries, those we’re also placed on food relief, which to me was crazy as they were providing for Hobart’s most vulnerable.”

 “So we partnered with Hobart City Mission to keep our chefs and volunteers in work and keep providing our work opportunities, they mentioned they really need meals for a number of individuals in their care so we started making 400 meals a week from our kitchen" and in October Hamlet provided their 10,000th meal for food relief!  

With celebration season well underway why not look to Hamlet to cater to your next event! Or check out their amazing menu through their Instagram and grab a coffee when you’re next in Hobart.  

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