Kinfolk is not your average cafe. It's not the organic produce that sets them apart, nor is it the good coffee or primo service on offer - it's the fact that they promoting ethical consumption and allowing you to 'vote with your dollar'.
The cafe has been open for about 6 weeks now at the Southern Cross end of Melbourne's Bourke Street. It has been set up as social enterprise whereby the proceeds will be siphoned into various charity projects. And you get to choose where your money will go.
Everything about the cafe has sustainability in mind; from the recycled and donated materials used to build it, to the fresh produce and coffee beans. A lot of the staff are volunteers and there is a list of names on the wall giving kudos to all the tradies that helped to literally put Kinfolk together.
The dining room has a high-ceiling and communal tables, as well as a bench up a the giant window if you fancy watching the world go by. A three dimensional artwork of birds sitting in a tree peer down over you as you enjoy your food.
The menu is seasonal and for lunch offers soups, open sandwiches, toasted sandwiches and lots of delicious little cakes. Average meal price is $8.50 and I opted for the zucchini frittata open sandwich with green olive tapenade. The frittata was served cold on rye bread and the tapenade was more like a salsa with capers thrown into the mix. It was super fresh tasting with a really astringent, zingy little dressing that covered the ribbons of finely sliced frittata.
The coffee was spot-on, which was no surprise as the barista from my local cafe was behind the machine! Nice to see a familiar face at a new place, but it was also a clear indication of the calibre of Melbourne hospo peeps that are obviously behind this fantastic enterprise (I don't drink coffee just anywhere you know).
After my lunch I was given a coffee bean and told to pop it in one of four labeled jars. This how you cast your vote as to where you lunch money goes. Up on the wall in the front of the cafe is a chalkboard listing the various projects that you can choose from which are currently in: Ghana, Rwanda, Palm Island and good old Melbourne town.
On it's own Kinfolk is a great cafe and I would go there for lunch anytime but the fact that they are putting the profits into such worthwhile projects and being so mindful of how they operate is truly impressive. More Kulinary Karma abounds and Kinfolk are leading the way!