Merchant Road is a Melbourne-based social enterprise that provides hospitality training and employment to women from refugee backgrounds who might otherwise be facing barriers to employment. Earlier this year, Merchant Road launched a program called Many Hands. It is funded by the Victorian Government’s Pick My Project initiative, and it’s Merchant Road’s first paid hospitality program. We’re proud to say that last month Tyson and Christian from Market Lane’s wholesale team spent time with the program’s participants, introducing them to specialty coffee and providing hands-on practical coffee training.
Many Hands is being run as a pilot program until December; each intake of the program runs for eight weeks. Participants get a chance to work with and learn from many knowledgeable people in Melbourne’s hospitality and events industries, including florists Cecilia Fox (a longtime Market Lane partner and friend) and Candy Mountain, event curators Milieu Hospitality, and wine expert Rachel Signer. The scope and variety of the training enables program participants to get a good sense of what it’s like to work in the industry, and to receive valuable and in-depth hands-on training.
Merchant Road will be hosting a series of dinners throughout the year to mark the end of each session, and to give Many Hands participants an opportunity to use and showcase the skills and training they’ve received. The first of these events is Merchant Road presents: A Fireside Feast, which will be held on Friday 19 July in North Fitzroy. This magical mid-winter event promises to be an evening of delicious seasonal food paired with beautiful wines and wonderful company!
Photo credits: Francois Marx (Market Lane training) and Gold and Grit (Merchant Road event).