Word of mouth is the favoured means of marketing in Melbourne for any new venue or event. When a friend shared in passing a comment about her new preferred café in Fitzroy Gardens it must have registered somewhere in my overloaded mind.
As I walked home that night through the streets of Collingwood and Fitzroy a new promotional street poster caught my attention and then my curiosity. It was advertising KereKere day. Don’t know what KereKere day is? Me Neither. But the next clue the poster gave me connected it to a café in Fitzroy Gardens. Yes – I was a marketers dream because two prompts were enough to get me on my bike that weekend and cycling across town to go find this café and ask about Kere Kere day.
Fitzroy Gardens is a big park. I am the type of person who prefers to use the manual only when I hit an insurmountable roadblock. So I probably cycled and walked my bike in and around much more of the park than I needed to. Given what a lovely natural environment it is – this was a beautiful problem. I eventually found it, tucked in behind Captain Cook’s cottage, and beside the new information centre for the Gardens. A modern, light filled café that makes the most of the setting by facing dining tables to look out over the gardens.
It turns out that KereKere Green is a coffee shop that seeks to foster a culture of generosity within our community. Café patrons are given a playing card, think two of spades, with any purchase and then when they leave they can select to support one of four Cause Categories - Environmental, Cultural, Social or Health – using the playing card. Each month $500 worth of donations are shared with these community causes.
KereKere was founded by James Murphy, an entrepreneurial social worker who brings together his passions for community wellbeing, social justice, good food and quality living. After working as a social worker, James decided that starting a business with its roots in social justice was the way he wanted to make a contribution to his community.
KereKere is named after the custom that inspired it. Pronounced kerry-kerry, it is the Fijian custom whereby a relative or neighbour can request something that is needed and it is willingly given with no expectation of repayment. James was introduced to this concept as a child growing up in Fiji.
I had such a lovely, peaceful afternoon sitting in the café looking out through my perfect garden window frame, that I wanted to write and say thanks to James and his team. About ten minutes after I sent the email a young man approached me with a friendly smile on his face – it was James. He was working that day and had read my message and came over to say hello. His passion, humility, and work ethic were all self-evident. After chatting for half an hour – that felt like 5 minutes – I took off my latest band4hope bracelet and passed it James. A worthy recipient of this months #Do4Hope campaign.
And if you still are not sure what KereKere day is all about – go ask James and the crew at KereKere Green.
And now for the Wellbeing Science
Wellbeing science is helping us to understand what contributes to our individual and collective wellbeing, and it turns out that prosocial behaviour—voluntary behaviour intended to benefit another— can boost happiness. It appears that giving behaviour not only benefits the recipient, but also enhances the wellbeing of the person doing the giving. For example, volunteer work is associated with greater happiness and less depression, and research studies have shown that doing five random acts of kindness just one day a week (for six weeks) can increase your happiness. Research on how we spend money has uncovered similar effects on wellbeing, with those who spend money on others, rather than themselves, experiencing greater happiness.
So maybe James and the KereKere crew are on to something - a business model based on giving, acts of kindness and pro-social behaviour.
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This blog is part of a 2015 series called Do4Hope by The Mind Room co-founder Dr Jo Mitchell. It shares wellbeing science and stories through an action based project called Do4Hope. The challenge is to spot acts of kindness, hope and inspiration and to choose one person every month to pass on a Band4Hope copper bracelet. They then become a hope ambassador and are encouraged to do the same – creating a ripple of hope, kindness and inspiration. Profits from the bands supports the community that makes them in Africa, as well as local and global charities.
Twitter: @drjomitch or @moremindroom #Do4Hope
Buy a band4hope at: www.Band4Hope.com