L-R: GCLA cafe team leader Colette Giha-Carella, cafe employee Sarah Kretschmer, GCLA operations manager Rayleen Galdal, cafe employee Charmaine Mullemeister, GCLA cafe support worker Sherryn Melbye, GCLA board president Kate Dufty, cafe employee Shannon Nott and GCLA chief executive Tracey Alexander.
L-R: GCLA cafe team leader Colette Giha-Carella, cafe employee Sarah Kretschmer, GCLA operations manager Rayleen Galdal, cafe employee Charmaine Mullemeister, GCLA cafe support worker Sherryn Melbye, GCLA board president Kate Dufty, cafe employee Shannon Nott and GCLA chief executive Tracey Alexander. Mike Richards GLA101218CAFE

Tannum cafe reopens opens with an 'incredible' difference

A NEW cafe is being cooked up to create an employment opportunity for people with disabilities.

The Gladstone Community Linking Agency is expanding its social enterprise portfolio with the new cafe in Tannum Sands.

GCLA purchased the cafe to expand its existing catering business Incredible Edibles.

GCLA chief executive Tracey Alexander said the cafe was aimed at creating employment opportunity for people with disabilities.

"We anticipate that we'll be open to the public in February. We've got a little bit of training to do, front of house training and learning to use the barista machine," Ms Alexander said.

"At the moment we've got five ie staff but we anticipate we'll probably need a couple more as they'll still maintain the catering business as well."

She said the cafe would operate from about 7am-noon on weekdays.

Incredible Edibles catering attendant and cafe employee Charmaine Mullemeister looked forward to expanding her skills for the new role.

"I've done a lot of kitchen work when I was in high school and when I finally got out of hospital after a car accident on my 18th birthday it was the first thing I got straight back into," Charmaine said.

"It's so exciting, I can't wait (for) a lot more training, a lot more public exposure."

Ms Alexander said some people with disabilities get supported employment, which means they get paid a subsidised wage.

"So that's different to our philosophy, we believe people should get paid for the work they do," Ms Alexander said.

"We weren't planning on buying a cafe in 2018 but it just presented itself so it's a great opportunity.

"For the public to be able to come to a social enterprise cafe and see people with disabilities in paid employment, it really builds that inclusion and those valued roles ... that's the exciting bit."

She said the Incredible Edibles team continued to thrive.

"They did the 50th birthday for QAL last year, they did both the Rio Tinto Christmas parties, they did the Ralph Lauren Polo (event) in Rockhampton ... They're on the move all the time," Ms Alexander said.