Laidley cafe remains open for essential workers
A LAIDLEY cafe has ben forced to suspend its training program, putting a number of trainees out of a job amid the coronavirus pandemic.
However, its remaining staff are providing takeaway options for essential workers.
Community Grounds Cafe is run by the Laidley Community Centre, and offers school-based traineeships for students to get real world experience in a business.
But COVID-19 has meant the cafe has had to suspend its program for now, and community centre manager Alana Wahl said it was a tough decision.
"It was disappointing for everybody," Ms Wahl said.
"However, we see a time in the future … that we may be able to gradually recommence those traineeships.
"It was just mainly a case of making sure we prioritise the safety of staff and clients while things were moving so quickly."
The cafe has been operating for a little more than a year and had quickly become a pillar of the local community.
The cafe has also become an important outreach centre for the community group, extending their presence in the town.
"It's a way for the organisation to maintain connection with the community," she said.
"But also, to be a place where people can come and donate non-perishable food or for essential workers to still have somewhere where they can pick up a coffee and some sustenance."
The downturn in sales had forced the cafe to close on Saturdays and reduce opening hours, but Ms Wahl said the work from her team had made the transition smooth.
"Like everyone, it came as a bit of a shock to us just how it impacted so quickly," she said.
"But certainly, credit to my staff there who adapted really well. They were very quick to implement necessary safety and hygiene protocols and should be congratulated."
While she encouraged the community to stay home, she also encouraged them to support their local businesses when they reopened.
"When the time is right, and when restrictions are lifted, we will be here the other side," she said.
She also encouraged anyone struggling in the current climate to come forward and reach out to the centre either by phoning 5465 1889 or heading the centre's Facebook page.