The ground level of a public housing tower would probably be the last place most would expect to find a bright cafe brewing Social Roasting Company coffee. Fifty-Six Threads is a cafe with a cause and throws such expectations out the window.

A project launched by AMES and Urban Communities, Fifty-Six Threads aims to provide hospitality employment opportunities for new migrants. Work placements in the cafe allow for new community members to improve their skills, and if all goes to plan, Fifty-Six Threads will be able to offer its employees certificate training by next year.

With gorgeous wood panelling and pentagonal light fittings, the space is quite striking. “It was originally a milk bar,” says project coordinator Emma McCann. “We want to make sure it continues to be a facility that locals can use.” Therefore the menu is expected to increasingly reflect the multicultural diversity of Kensington.

The phrase ‘all day breakfast’ is always music to our ears, and this is something Fifty-Six Threads understands, with several breakfast options to choose from. The hearty vegetarian ‘big breakfast’ serves up fried tomatoes and garlic butter mushrooms, baby spinach and avocado slices surrounding two poached eggs with yolks as orange as a duck’s bill.

For lunch, there’s a specials board that changes depending ingredient seasonality and the skills of the chefs in residence. And if you feel like sampling something in homage to the cafe’s humble milk bar beginnings, you can have yourself an old school fried dim-sim, or a fluffy milkshake.

So next time you’re out west and feel like a coffee and nibble, pop into Fifty-Six Threads. Not only will you encounter some great food, but you’ll be helping some new Australians get a good start.

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Fifty-Six Threads
56 Derby Street, Kensington
(03) 9376 6885

Wed to Sun breakfast and lunch (usually 3pm close)