30th of August 2013BioPak gives back

STREAT – Stop homelessness the delicious way

We are sharing the incredible story of charity STREAT as we hope it will inspire you to help them in some way too. They are actively stopping homelessness in a way that directly supports the food and service community – our community. BioPak have been supporting STREAT by donating BioCups and compostable lids for the past year, we are proud to have helped them serve over 170,000 takeaway coffees. They are a truly fantastic organisation and we plan to continue our support indefinitely.

STREAT is a not for profit social enterprise that provides homeless and disengaged young people, aged between 16 and 25, a pathway to employment in the hospitality industry.

In 2010, STREAT’s staff – plus nine hopeful but homeless young trainees – pushed its first coffee and food carts onto Melbourne’s streets. The organisation was convinced the streets should be a vibrant place, where young people could learn to prepare and serve delicious meals – rather than be a place where they were forced to live.

Three years, over 450,000 customers and 20 tonnes of coffee later, STREAT operates three inner city cafes, a catering business and a small batch coffee roasting company, and has trained and supported over 80 young homeless people. STREAT’s recipe for success is simple; build a team that is passionate about stopping homelessness – and passionate about creating high quality food and coffee businesses.

What is STREAT

  • STREAT exists to stop youth homelessness
  • A Not for Profit and a Registered Australian Charity
  • Training disadvantaged young people in hospitality to help build their life and work skills
  • The profits from their three cafes, catering and coffee roasting businesses help fund these training and life skills programs
  • Funds are also raised through donations, trusts,foundations, business and government
  • They have trained over 80 young people, the majority going on to jobs or further education
  • They have served over 450,000 meals and coffees
  • CEO Rebecca Scott is one of ‘Australia’s Top 100 Women of Influence’
  • STREAT won Australia’s Most Innovative Social Enterprise Award in June 2013
  • STREAT’s three cafes have an average rating of 90 on Urban Spoon
  • STREAT has been listed in The Age Good Cafe Guide for the last four years
  • STREAT is Australia’s only not for profit coffee roaster, producing over 300 kilos per week
  • STREAT’s amazing cookbook features Poh Ling Yeow and is much more than just a great gift

STREAT’s gorgeous 160-page hard cover cookbook is filled with delicious recipes created by Exec Chef Rob Auger. It also features signature dishes from Poh Ling Yeow of Poh’s Kitchen and from five of STREAT’s recently graduated young people.

Bursting at the seams with heartfelt stories, beautiful art and wonderful flavours, STREAT’s new cookbook makes for the perfect gift for anybody with a passion for life and food. Better still, all profits go into their hospitality training program to improve the lives of young homeless people.

STREAT’s range of high-quality signature blends and specialty single origin coffees are recognised across Melbourne for their consistency, quality, flavour and freshness. STREAT is Australia’s only not for profit coffee roaster and every cent of income goes directly to helping young homeless people rebuild their lives.

The story of STREAT
True stories are often the hardest to swallow. Here is Jimmy’s story – a graduate of STREAT’s life-skills and hospitality training program.

Jimmy still feels overwhelmingly sad about the horrible way his mother, father and step-father treated him from early childhood. These were the people who were supposed to love him. When he came out as gay in his late teens he suffered such strong abuse at home that he decided homelessness was a better option. He was safer on the streets – but still unsafe. To cope he started heavily self-medicating with cannabis which then triggered psychotic episodes and depression. He says he is now “getting my life together” and joining the STREAT program has been the catalyst for that change.
The “trainees and staff at STREAT are the first people in my life who have accepted me and supported me completely”.
After graduating from STREAT, Jimmy went on to a full time apprenticeship in hospitality and then a job as an Assistant Manager at a city restaurant. He also moved into a rental property with his boyfriend.

So far, STREAT has helped over 80 young people, all with similarly shocking stories and they plan to help hundreds more. STREAT supports and trains disengaged and homeless youth for up to six months across its multiple social enterprises. Trainees learn to prepare and serve fantastic meals and coffees, as well as developing professional
experience and life-skills. They also study for fully accredited Certificate qualifications in hospitality. Committing to six months of training is a big challenge. Turning up on time, in good shape, for class or a café shift is one of the biggest achievements of the trainees. It is the first key step in rebuilding young lives.
There are many delicious ways you can help STREAT continue their great work. Buy some coffee, get them to cater or buy their cookbook – trading with them really helps, you could even employ a STREAT graduate.

Visit their website –


  • STREAT CEO Rebecca Scott holding the STREAT cookbook, with a photo of a recipe.
  • Class 6 Graduations at STREAT's cafe in Melbourne, with a photo of STREAT coffee beans.