Like so many things in Melbourne, it started over coffee. Zoe and Brad had spent countless weekends blissfully exploring the local cafe scene. But somewhere along the way, they realised that they loved the whole food and coffee thing so much, they actually wanted to make it their life. So three years ago today, they opened Freckleduck, their very own, very cool cafe in the regional town of Geelong. And as you can probably tell - they love it! Yes, it’s hard work and there’s no such thing as a day off anymore. But as Brad told us, it’s worth it. They get to spend every day in a fun, upbeat environment - meeting new customers and catching up with regulars. Throw in the chance to work with gorgeous, fresh produce and their favourite coffee blends - and they’re in foodie heaven! But beyond creating a fabulous cafe, Zoe and Brad also wanted Freckleduck to be a vehicle for change. So they decided to donate 10c from every coffee and hot drink to One Girl. Now you might think that 10c can't make a difference, but you’d be amazed how things add up. So far all those 10c have turned into a whopping $10,000! Enough to educate more than 300 girls in Sierra Leone and Uganda! And that’s a message Brad and Zoe are sharing with their customers so they can know the impact they’re having. Photo credit: @thewildsocial We’ve just recently celebrated the second anniversary of our fabulous partnership with Freckleduck, and today is their third birthday as a cafe! So we thought it was the perfect opportunity to share their story of how seemingly small actions can change the world. Brad and Zoe’s story is a great metaphor for the way our individual efforts - like all those 10c pieces - add up something big! How does Freckleduck support One Girl? We support One Girl in 2 ways. The major one is we donate 10c from every coffee (or hot drink) to One Girl. The second is making our customers aware of One Girl and the battles faced by girls in Africa. Every day customers are asking us about the work One Girl does, and we are very proud to say we play a small part in helping them do their work. Why did you decide to partner with One Girl? During our travels, we had seen the hard times kids were going through in some countries. This really hit us. It made us realise how good most of us have it in Australia, and it shocked us to think that children and families were having to live in the conditions they do. We wanted to do something to help, and once we opened Freckleduck we felt we had the platform to do so. Why is gender equality and girls’ education important to you? In 2017 it is heartbreaking to think that kids, particularly young girls, don’t have the opportunity to just be kids. To play, to grow and to develop into adults and pursue a life they choose.
Education is something a lot of us just take for granted, but it is such a powerful and life changing tool. It is not only life changing for an individual, but it has the potential to break the cycle of poverty for the family around that individual - and future generations.That’s a powerful tool that everyone should have the opportunity to experience. That thing that we take for granted can mean a lifetime of health and happiness for girls and their families. How do you communicate to your customers the impact they are having through One Girl? We have posters up in the café and a photo on the back of our menus. We find this is enough to make people aware that they are helping us to support One Girl and the girls of Sierra Leone and Uganda. From here, those that want to know more ask our staff about One Girl and how it all works. We have brochures behind the counter we can give to these customers, and also point them to the One Girl website for further information. What has been the reaction of your customers/community/staff to the partnership? The reaction has been amazing. Every single day we have customers that come in and comment on our partnership with One Girl and say what a great thing it is. We get people wanting to buy multiple coffees, just so they can donate more money (we now have a donation jar, rather than them buying 5 coffees they don’t actually want!). Brad and Zoe's story of Freckleduck is pretty amazing. They remind us of one of our favourite quotes:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead)We’re on a mission to empower women and girls across Africa with access through education. But of course, we need the funds to help make this possible. Some of our support comes from passionate business owners and entrepreneurs like Zoe and Brad donating a percentage of profits or sales. If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur looking for a way to make a difference through your business - get in touch with us. We’d love to chat about how we can work together! Don’t own a business? That’s okay - the majority of our support actually comes from people donating $20, $50, $100 once a year or regularly. Or people saying no to presents and using their birthday to fundraise for One Girl. Or people putting on a school dress and doing all kinds of crazy challenges through Do It In A Dress. If you’ve had a burning desire to make the world a better place, take action. You don’t need to have your own cafe to start having impact. Because whatever you do - no matter how small it may seem in the face of big and complex problems - it will make a difference. And if you can get to sunny Geelong - drop in and say hi to Zoe and Brad - and tell them you’re part of the One Girl family! Otherwise you can check them out on Instagram or Facebook.