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Giving good back!

We are a social enterprise lead by a passionate team of hospitality professionals. Each day, SOFO staff deliver standout food, coffee & service, whilst also delivering hands-on training for local youth facing barriers to employment. 

Training at SOFO consists of immersive work skills practiced in front-of-house, kitchen and barista capacities. After hours, the Social Foundry hosts Life Skills, a six module extension program including topics such as financial literacy, job searching techniques & self-representation.


Whilst we are a youth-centric cafe, we also welcome adults of all ages to join us at SOFO. Volunteers are at the heart of our enterprise, helping us deliver an inclusive & supportive training environment for our young people. 

The Origin Story 

The Social Foundry started when Paul Dettmann and Simon Burnett realised that for some young people, getting into the workforce, and building the life skills needed to thrive can be a bridge too far. Data shows a growing disconnection within Australian society and more and more people are feeling increasingly isolated and disconnected from their community.

'What would it look like if there was a workplace that could partner with young people building life skills alongside job skills?' Great ideas like the Social Foundry don't usually work perfectly on the first go, but after a few test runs we realised that we should focus on where young people are and where they can gain employment - and hospitality is the biggest employer in the region. Thus the Social Foundry Cafe was born.


Our goal is to create a mentoring workplace that provides new possibilities for those with limited opportunity, and welcomes the whole community to connect with one another and share life in our local space. We pulled together some like-minded people, local (and formerly local) people, all who have a passion to build a nurturing community where everyone has the opportunity to thrive, and we are registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (you can see our registration here).

Our Board 

Jemimah Ride (Chairperson)

Paul Dettmann (Board Member and co-founder)

Simon Burnett (Board Member and co-founder)

Barry Membrey (Board Member, treasurer)

Ophelie Lechat (Board Member and secretary)

Martin McKenna (Board Member)

Bronwyn Burnett (Ex Officio)

Ways to Support Social Foundry 


Help us create a supportive & welcoming environment for our trainees. 


Something as simple as buying a coffee helps create learning opportunities! 


Love what we do? Share it! Can't visit? Champion us from afar! Help grow the SOFO community. 


It costs us $2,170 to check, induct & train ONE youth. We would gratefully appreciate help. All donations are tax deductible. 

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