If you drive down Flinders Avenue in Lara, 20 minutes north of Geelong, you’ll find something quite incredible happening during the day at a cafe called Little Teapot Café & Play. Parents are coming from near and far with their little ones to gather at this place that has beautifully made coffee, good value delicious food and most importantly a very welcoming, inviting, friendly environment where parents can breathe while their children play in one of the three cute, fun, and most importantly, safe and contained play spaces.
The team at Little Teapot cannot believe it’s been nearly 3 years since they opened their doors! The current approx. 50 staff and volunteers involved in running Little Teapot know that they are part of something special. Whether a Teapot Team member is washing aprons, washing dishes, preparing food, paying the bills or welcoming each person at the door with a smile, each person involved is creating a home away from home. So many women can feel isolated when they have young children. Little Teapot helps not only the parents of the 240 babies born a year in Lara, but many more as well. A ‘Little Teapotter’, Verity, described Little Teapot as ‘a big beautiful envelope of love and loveliness’ and Kat called Little Teapot ‘our new home away from home’.
Little Teapot started in 2014 as a dream for a cafe where God’s unconditional love for people is poured out in extravagant measure. Their motto is ‘Tip Us Over Pour Us Out’. The Community Leader & Director, Sarah Chaney, shares: ‘Every day we have the honour of seeing this happen through a comforting hug or listening ear we may give one of our many regulars, through the way we are able to connect mums with other mums in our ‘New to the Community’ groups, through the suspended coffees purchased by the community we can share with those doing it tough or who have had a new baby, through to praying for each and every family at the beginning of every day as well as the many opportunities we have to do life with our incredible team of staff and volunteers. It’s love in action everyday, and although challenging at times, we all feel we are so blessed to be part of this adventure that we believe God has started.’
“We are a passionate community of staff and volunteers that dream of seeing every person connected and loved for who they are. Little Teapot is a faith based charity that loves helping people find community, belonging and acceptance. We want to be so much more than a family friendly café, we hope to be a home away from home.”
Little Teapot works in partnership with Lifeway Christian Church in Lara. The church community has been so excited to be supporting the Little Teapot charity as it cares for and gives back to the families of Lara. There are also many generous organisations, individuals and businesses that have partnered with Little Teapot to enable it to be what it is today including Baptcare that invested in the vision in the early days to help make sure the doors were opened. Here are some recent highlights:
- Thousands of people visit Little Teapot each year as well as hundreds of treasured weekly, if not daily regulars!
- Little Teapot has recently started a small movement called ‘Teapot Mums’ a gathering of the mums groups that Little Teapot has helped create and other groups that come weekly to Little Teapot.
- In year 2, Little Teapot gave away 322 suspended coffee and cake vouchers via the local Maternal & Child Health Nurses and playgroups
- Each volunteer continues to find an accepting and safe community at Little Teapot where they gain confidence, new friends and connections and most of all acceptance no matter what they believe or their life’s journey so far. A number of our volunteers have become a part of the faith community at Lifeway Christian Church through Little Teapot.
- We’ve seen multiple Little Teapot families be referred to one of the playgroups run by Lifeway Christian church as well as the Mainly Music program being run by the local Uniting Church, we also have the joy of welcoming families to some of our special Easter and Christmas services.
- A number of families have joined Lifeway Christian Church because of the community outreach they’ve seen through Little Teapot.
- Little Teapot has recently launched afternoon High Teas on select days of the weeks and continues to be busy most Saturdays with lots of excited families there for their birthday party celebrations!
Little Teapot has also been very blessed by the generous support from the Bendigo Bank and the Geelong Community Foundation this last year, it’s an honour for these organisations to recognise the vital community work of connection and love that is happening at a cute café called Little Teapot Café & Play in Lara.