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Serving the community

Treble Cafe to to provide free kai to struggling whānau

A one-of-a-kind community cafe will open its doors in the city centre next month to provide free kai to struggling whānau and job opportunities for rangatahi.

Donna Biddle, son Nathan and his wife Mikayla have created Treble Cafe — a family-owned and operated establishment located in Treble Court.

The cafe has been financed through the Biddle family businesses Kingdom Mahi and Crema35 food caravan.

Set to open on Valentine's Day (February 14), it will operate as normal during the day and then turn into a community kitchen, providing free meals on some nights.

All profit after overheads will be put back into feeding the community through free kai deliveries in different areas including Waikirikiri Park, Elgin and Taruheru Crescent.

As youth mentors in Kaiti for over a year and a half, Mikayla and Nathan discovered there were a lot of struggling and homeless families in Gisborne.

“It all came about because Nathan had a vision about feeding our community,” Mikayla said. “We have been super blessed so we want to share our blessings with others in our community.”

Donna, who has been in the hospitality business for most of her life, said she was in “absolute support” of the kaupapa (purpose) behind the cafe . . . “if you are hungry, come and have a kai”.

“I will be in the background organising and making kai deliveries to whānau,” said Nathan.

“We will be using my mother's caravan, Crema 35, for it.”

A community cafe was something new, he said.

“It is much more to us than making money. It is about serving our community — giving back.

“Once established we hope to host cooking and budgeting classes to help upskill people so they don't find themselves in a position to need this kind of support again.”

It will also provide a stepping stone to young people moving into careers such as baristas, bakers and cooks.

“They can come in and use our space for learning.”

GIVING BACK: Family-owned Treble Cafe is set to open on Valentine's Day (February 14). It will be normal cafe during the day but on some nights of the week will open to the community for free meals. From left are the whanau behind the cafe, Donna Biddle, son Nathan and his wife Mikayla. Picture by Liam Clayton

  1. Denise Bugden says:

    I couldn’t think of a better use for our previous cafe, than this venture. Congratulations to the the three of you and blessings on this project. We’ll be coming in for a coffee when we’re next in Gisborne.
    Donald and Denise Bugden

  2. Kat says:

    I believe in what you are doing for our community is absolutely fabulous, and its very special, so thank you. I especially love that our rangatahi have a place to learn the necessities around giving sharing and caring while also finding confidence in kai preparation, so thank you for the blessings

  3. Unty_dah says:

    So beautiful, what you are doing. TAUTOKO 💯…
    Donna and whanau if you need my assistance in any way, then I am here to help.