Great staff make café all the sweeter

Thursday, 27 September 2018

There’s nothing as sweet as landing a great new job, especially when it involves coating raspberries in chocolate every day. Devonport local Matt started his career at the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm Café outside Devonport earlier this year.

“I love everything about my job! My colleagues are great and make me feel very welcome,” says Matt.

“As well as coating raspberries with chocolate, I serve food and drinks to the customers. It feels great to have this job.”

Chocolate raspberries

Matt’s Fragile X syndrome means he is often hesitant to speak until comfortable in a new environment. But café manager Lindi says within a matter of weeks, Matt was starting to open up.

“We were so pleased Matt began to feel more relaxed, and started speaking to the team. His first words almost brought us to tears,” says Lindi.

“It is a joy to see Matt joining in with staff, laughing, and even singing with Peta while chocolate-coating raspberries.”

Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm Café connected with disability employment provider EPIC after they were recommended by a close friend.

“It’s been great having Matt on-board; he is part of our Raspberry Farm family. We love him and he’s so great for staff morale,” says Lindi.

“Working with Matt has made the team happier, and we are now a more inclusive business.”

A bunch of raspberries held in cupped hands.

“It would be great to see other Devonport business owners thinking about hiring someone with disability. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” she says.

Matt is proud of how far he’s come, saying his job has given his life a sense of purpose and value.

“My job makes me feel good about myself, as I am now part of a team and a community,” says Matt.

“I am always very proud to tell others about my work.”

Local employers interested in finding out more about employing a person with disability can contact EPIC’s Devonport service centre on 03 6420 7515.