About Us

Cafe Stepping Stone – Strathnairn ↗

Located in the historic homestead with
picturesque views.
Come and enjoy some great locally roasted coffee and delicious housemade treats

Bookings ↗

Make a reservation

Catering ↗

Organising an event?
Contact us and see how we can work together

A work integration social enterprise food business

A society where diversity is celebrated and equal opportunity is expected

Part 2: Canberra, Australia

Beneficiaries: Migrant and refugee women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

Date of operation: July 2020 – Present

Social enterprises are not possible without collaboration and therefore we cherish our partnerships with other local organisations and businesses.

Stepping Stone is a registered charity and is a certified social enterprise through Australia’s social traders certification.

We have participated in both of The Mill House Venture social enterprise venture programs. In 2020, the accelerator program, GRIST, which has helped us form valuable relationships, deeply analyse our impact narrative and join a like minded and passionate for purpose community. In 2021, we were selected to participate in their bespoke graduate program, REFINE.

Attending the Social Enterprise World Forum in Brisbane 2022, we were inspired by many like minded people and learnt from similar organisations creating impact through for-purpose business in Australia and internationally.

Part 1 : Cartagena – Colombia

Beneficiaries: Afrocolombian and Indigenous Youth living in situations of extreme poverty

Date of operation: June 2017 – July 2020

READ OUR ANNUAL REPORT HERECafe Stepping Stone Annual Report 2017-2018

Cafe Stepping Stone was founded in 2017 by three Australian friends with the aim was to provide a safe and comfortable space to facilitate learning, growth and confidence that gives quality, comprehensive training and employment to the local disadvantaged youth.

Through practical experience, the cafe provided them with opportunities to increase their education, skills and confidence, to be the “stepping stone” needed to progress their future.

To ensure our efforts have the best results in helping the community using their local knowledge and experience, we teamed up with a local foundation, FEM, who focus on sustainable development projects to empower indigenous and afro communities to dream of a better future. Between 2017 and 2020, we worked with many grassroot not for profit organisations and small sustainable businesses in Cartagena and Colombia to increase our social impact. To find out more about our partners, click here

We served nutritious, high quality meals and beverages for tourists and locals at an affordable price so that everyone could enjoy  and experience Australian cafe hospitality and culture while simultaneously helping those less fortunate.

The cafe became a key point of the city and was rated #1 for breakfasts during the time it was open.

Unfortunately, due to COVID 19, the cafe was forced to close down and the owners returned to Australia. To continue with the mission and vision of the business, a new project, Pa´lante microfinance program was started. For more information click here.

Our Business Model
Located in the tourist centre of Cartagena, Getsemani, our cafe is focused on gaining national and international tourists clientele through a comprehensive marketing campaign through social media, publicity events and networking with other local businesses.

Nuestro Modelo de Negocio
Ubicado en el centro turístico de Cartagena, Getsemaní, nuestro café se centra en atraer clientes nacionales e internacionales con una campaña de marketing integral, a través de medios de redes sociales, eventos de promoción y creando una red empresarial con otras empresas locales.

 Paid Internship Program
Our bespoke short term paid internship program has been identified as the most effective way to help a larger number of people. Those in our program receive an induction, basic English lessons, weekly hospitality training and practical work experience with above minimum wage.

After the program they will either stay on with us in a managerial position for another few months to train the new participants or we provide guidance for them to move into other employment

Programa de prácticas remuneradas
Nuestro programa de prácticas remuneradas a corto plazo ha sido identificado como la forma más efectiva de ayudar a un mayor número de personas. En este programa los beneficiados reciben inducción, lecciones básicas de inglés, entrenamientos semanales sobre Hostelería y puesta en práctica con un salario por encima del mínimo.

Después del programa, o bien se quedarán con nosotros en un puesto de dirección durante otros meses para entrenar a los nuevos participantes, o les proporcionaremos orientación para que cambien a otro empleo.

Social Impact
Every year from 2018 we planned to hire and train 20 youth of Cartagena, this has a flow on effect to thier families and communities of approximately 5 people per employee, making the extent of the impact about 100 people a year, helping them make positive changes to help break the cycle of poverty.

If any of our employees have the motivation and passion to become an entrepreanuer within their communitie, the social impact will have a multiplying effect.

Impacto Social
Cada año, desde el 2018, planeamos contratar y capacitar a 20 jóvenes de Cartagena. Esto tiene un efecto directo para sus entornos y familias, aproximadamente 5 personas por empleado, lo que hace que el impacto sea de cerca de 100 personas por año, a realizar cambios positivos y ayudar a romper el ciclo de la pobreza.

Si alguno de nuestros empleados tiene la motivación y la pasión para convertirse en un emprendedor dentro de su comunidad, el impacto social tendrá un efecto multiplicador.

We’ve luckily caught the eye of a few newspapers, if you’re interested to read more, click on the links below:
Afortunadamente hemos llamado la atención de algunos periódicos, si estás interesado en leer más, haga clic en los siguientes enlaces:

Canberra Times  – Canberra duo opening Cafe Stepping Stone in Cartagena,Colombia 

El Tiempo Blogs – Consolidar las dos Cartagenas

El Universal – Un cafe de oportunidades

This is Cartagena

Voy’ agir

Eater – Top 35 places to eat in Cartagena

Conde Nast Traveller – Restaurants Cartagena