• Community is everything at Deadly Espresso - local patrons attend workshops, serve in the cafe and help to forage native food. (Deadly Espresso / Facebook)Source: Deadly Espresso / Facebook
Terri Waller and her mob are making social change happen, one cup of Dirty Myrtle at a time at Deadly Espresso cafe. #NAIDOC2018 #BecauseOfHerWeCan
By
Bron Maxabella

4 Jul 2018 - 3:08 PM  UPDATED 4 Jul 2018 - 3:28 PM

There’s a warmth about Terri Waller that has nothing to do with the piping hot coffee she serves. She crackles with creativity and insight, bringing all within her orbit into her light.

“You’re from Country,” she immediately told me when I first met her at Woodford  in 2017. As a city office worker for almost thirty years, this took me by surprise.

“I grew up in the Territory,” I answered. “But we left when I was eight.”

“I can still feel it in you,” she said, drawing me into a hug.

Seven generations past and future

It’s this intuition and deep love for people that compelled education-trained Terri to start SevGen Indigenous Corporation – a social enterprise that aims to create wellness through connection and relationships.

“Our desire to celebrate, validate and reinvigorate Indigenous ways of being occurs every day at the café.”

SevGen is short for “seven generations”, named for the Indigenous belief that today’s actions will affect seven generations into the future. This belief requires us to draw on the wisdom of seven generations of ancestors, while encouraging us to be more conscious of the way we are in the world today.

Deadly Espresso, a café in Eumundi, Queensland, and Deadly Espresso on Walkabout, a mobile food truck that visits festivals and events, were born out of this philosophy. One of many SevGen initiatives, the café has been growing since 2014, when it started with a stall at Eumundi markets.

“Our business is about the social impact outcomes,” Terri tells SBS. “We are spoken of as a true social enterprise by PWC executives and social work academics.

“Our desire to celebrate, validate and reinvigorate Indigenous ways of being occurs every day at the café.”

Seasonal bushtucker

The café serves critically acclaimed coffee along with bushtucker and medicinal teas. The wattleseed and “Dirty Myrtle” bushtucker coffees are a favourite, as are dishes like Emu, Crocodile or Kangaroo korongs (pasties), Wild mulberry topped scones, Carrot cake with lemon myrtle and tumeric icing, Strawberry gum and berry pudding with lemon myrtle cream and Bushtucker spiced roast vegetable and quinoa salad.

“I love that we get to celebrate Country and Culture by showcasing native botanics and commercially available game meats,” says Terri.

“Our menu has a few staples but gets added to according to what’s available seasonally,” explains Terri. “We like to grow it, forage it or get donated as much as we can, but we also buy from local markets and game meat suppliers.

“Everything is bushtucker-infused, from the lemon myrtle hollandaise to an emu pastie, a davidson plum probiotic bliss bite, or a dirty myrtle latte.

“I love that we get to celebrate Country and Culture by showcasing native botanics and commercially available game meats,” says Terri.

Workshops and gatherings

The café also functions as a workshop space, bringing community together to share in traditional practices. Recent workshops have included Bushtucker cooking classes with Aunty Dale Chapman, Gumby Gumby traditional bush medicine and Emu feather weaving with Dale Chapman.

The café has long served as a hospitality training ground, giving people the support they need to prosper, connect and find purpose.

The café hosts regular ‘Black Coffee’ networking events, bringing Indigenous business owners, professionals, and community together. Black Coffee is an initiative started by the South East Queensland Chamber of Commerce in 2014 that is rolling out across Australia.

Recently, Deadly Espresso was named as an approved community service project with Queensland Corrective Services. Repeat offenders with State Penalties Enforcement Registry debts will have the opportunity to work off their debts at Deadly Espresso.

Terri believes that there is a worldwide movement happening that compels people to “be more selfless”.

Prosper, connect and find purpose

The café has long served as a hospitality training ground, giving people the support they need to prosper, connect and find purpose. “They are usually people looking for a different approach to work and life,” says Terri. “Every person that comes to spend time with us is a success story.”

Terri believes that there is a worldwide movement happening that compels people to “be more selfless” and “be the change”. This is a philosophy that is deeply entrenched in every part of Deadly Espresso. It starts with the highly-regarded bushtucker and critically-acclaimed coffee, and extends through to the artisan workshops and community initiatives. This place is more lifestyle choice than mere café.

“In the words of one of our volunteers,” Terri says.  “You come for the coffee and stay for the love.” 


Deadly Espresso

79 Memorial Drive
Eumundi, Queensland

Tuesday - Sunday 9am-2pm


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