A SMALL cafe with a big heart is about to get a significant makeover.
Terang's The Little Acorn will have a new commercial kitchen, additional seating, decking overlooking the dry lake and an accessible bathroom when works begin early in October, 2023.
Cooinda CEO Janice Harris said cooking for the cafe was currently done at Cooinda and a commercial kitchen would be built at the site which would also become wheelchair accessible.
She said the kitchen would include lower bench tops for people with physical disabilities to assist with meal preparation and cooking.
"Out the back we will have more seating area and decking overlooking the dry lake," she said.
She said Corangamite Shire had supported the project providing a $100,000 grant. The improvements would allow the cafe to open seven days a week and extend trading hours.
"At the moment on a Sunday there is nowhere open to get breakfast, so it's a real need," she said.
She said the cafe had been running for six years and had a loyal customer base.
"It's really popular with the local community," she said.
"They're very supportive of it."
She said the cafe provided opportunities for Cooinda participants to have valued roles in the community with about 12 people participating each week.
She said it had led to some people getting employment in the hospitality industry.
"It really gives them a sense of purpose," she said.
"They feel really valued and have that pride in their work.
"They really engage with their local community - they just love it.
"It teaches them skills, a few have done the barista course.
"They're learning to use the till and they're engaged in all aspects of it, from cooking to the hospitality side of it."
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