Fifty-Six Threads is a social enterprise cafe located in the unlikely location at the bottom of a housing commission block in Kensington.
The cafe is a project for AMES, Australia’s largest provider of humanitarian settlement, education, training and employment services for refugees and newly arrived migrants. Fifty-Six Threads is AMES’ second catering enterprise, with the first being Sorghum Sisters, an African catering business.
Fifty-Six Threads’ name is inspired by its location (ie number 56 Derby Street) and the many cultural threads that run through the cafe and the local community. During our visit on a rainy weekday it was fairly quiet but a diverse cross-section of clientele trickled in, from the postie to a local resident to families.
Given the dour exterior the cafe’s interior is modern and funky, with lots of geometric angles softened with beautiful pendant lights suspended from the ceiling.
Coffee comes from STREAT, another social enterprise based near Kensington, and the food is all made on site by a single (professional) chef.
The menu contains simple cafe classics at an unbeatable price. A huge home made sausage roll with delicious tomato relish is $3.50; the burger with chips is $13 and the generous French toast is $14.
The burger is a stand out as the home made patty is a loose conglomeration of mince and herbs, grilled to crusty perfection. It’s sandwiched between a floury bap along with fresh tomato, lettuce and beetroot (tinned unfortunately).
To enhance the community feel there’s a small bookshelf with children’s and adults books.
It’s actually a rotating library for the local community so that you can take the books away, with the polite request that you return them when you’re done.
Fifty-Six Threads is a simple, relaxing cafe (with a funky Latin soundtrack on our visit) if you’re in Kensington looking for good value food and coffee with friendly service.
They also offer very reasonable catering with mini cakes/muffins at $3 per person and savoury finger food at $3 each and sandwiches/wraps at $7.50 per person. Best of all you know that your money is going to a good cause.