Thursday, July 11, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Returning To The Roots Of Compassion And Community Support

By Hannah McNamara

Roots Collective: Restaurant, Café, Coffee & Bar embodies a sense of community that goes beyond serving great coffee and food.

Nestled on Broad Street in Sarina and co-owned by Skye Bailey and her siblings, the venue stands as a unique sanctuary where members of the public can connect in an uplifting environment that also caters to those doing it tough.

Through the Give Back Program, Roots Collective aims to feed those who are impacted by the cost-of-living crisis within the local community. A simple note in the café window invites those struggling financially to take a meal receipt and enjoy a free meal, no questions asked.

The note reads: If you are struggling to afford a meal at the moment, please take one of these recipes of paid meals below and present it to the waiter. They will put it through the till for free.

This act of kindness ensures that no one in the region goes hungry, reflecting Roots’ commitment to nurturing a supportive and inclusive environment for all to enjoy.

"We paid for meals, put it on the wall and the community just started buying meals and sticking receipts up themselves for others to use," Skye explained.

What began as a café initiative blossomed into a community-driven chain of kindness, where locals eagerly participated in paying meals forward.

Recognising the broader needs of the community, Roots Collective have partnered with the local New Life Food Bank and Chances Op Shop to distribute meal receipts where they are most needed. This collaborative approach ensures that their generosity reaches those who may not directly visit the café but still require support.

Skye emphasises that the initiative aims to remove any stigma associated with accepting help.

"It shouldn’t be embarrassing," she asserts, encouraging individuals facing financial hardship to avail themselves of the offered meals without hesitation. The café even provides envelopes with meal receipts to local organisations, offering discreet access for those who might feel uncomfortable taking them directly from the window.

“We want people to take them, we’d love people to come in and take the opportunity and just see it as a gift rather than a freebie.”

Skye and her team prioritise using locally sourced ingredients by supporting regional farmers and businesses. This commitment not only enhances the quality of their offerings but also strengthens the local economy, where community support flows both ways.

“It’s us giving back to the community because they give so much to us,” Skye said.

In essence, Roots Collective is more than a place to grab a coffee, but rather a cornerstone of community care and compassion. Skye and her team exemplify how small businesses can make a big impact on the lives of those they serve.

If you are in need of a meal or you would like to contribute to this cause, please reach out to Roots Collective.

Roots Collective in Sarina has initiated a Give Back Program that offers free meals to those who are suffering due to the cost-of-living crisis. Photo credit: Hannah McNamara

In other news