Culture

Conscious Coffee

Conscious Coffee: Using coffee to make a change

Do you want to help Lentil use coffee to make the world a better place?

Lentil As Anything offers many training programs to young people hoping to find employment.

Through barista training and education Lentil As Anything helps volunteers find the skills they need to go on to paid employment.

Recently we have been shortlisted for an Australian Ethical grant for our Conscious Coffee training, to provide our volunteers with barista training and education about using coffee as a medium to create social impact.

So, turn your feelings into actions and be part of the change by clicking here to vote.

Together we can brew life changing opportunities!

Grand Opening!

Grand Opening of The Inconvenience Store

As you may have heard, we're opening a pay-as-you-feel grocery store in Melbourne - the first of it's kind in Victoria!

The store will officially open it's doors to the public on Sunday 8th of July.

With fresh vegetables, gourmet bread, pickles, preserves, jams, cans and condiments - all rescued, gathered, sorted, refrigerated and stored by volunteers, you can make your shopping trip an ethical one!

For people passionate about the environment and reducing food waste, shopping at The Inconvenience Store will be an act of social activism. Every food item taken home is one less methane producing addition to landfill, and every dollar contributed will directly fund a community-based, volunteer-run food rescue charity. We are inviting the community to shop consciously and be part of the solution. Fund communities, not corporations!– Astrid Ryan, Project Coordinator

  • Sunday 8th of July
  • Where: Inside Lentil As Anything Thornbury
  • 562-564 High St, Thornbury, VIC, 3071
  • Open: 11am - 3pm

Contributions to the store will help cover the cost of electricity for refrigeration, transport, and storage.  See you there!

The Inconvenience Store

The Inconvenience Store: A Pay-As-You-Feel Grocery Store

Welcome to Victoria’s FIRST EVER pay-as-you-feel Grocery Store!

Hours:
  • Friday 11am - 3pm
  • Saturday 11am - 3pm
  • Sunday 11am - 3pm
  • Monday 11am - 3pm

Location: 562-564 High St, Thornbury, Melbourne

Wind your way through the Lentil As Anything Thornbury restaurant until you find the colourful painted doors of The Inconvenience Store.

This is not your average grocery store!

All the food and products stocked on it’s shelves have been rescued, donated, sorted and stocked by our volunteer food rescue team Food Without Borders.

The Inconvenience Store has no set prices.

Patrons are encouraged to contribute to keep the store running if they can afford to do so.
Alternatively, like in all Lentil As Anything restaurants, patrons are invited to volunteer with us if they wish to contribute to our project in another way.
All contributions will go towards sustaining our food rescue operation, paying for transport costs, storage, electricity bills to keep the produce refrigerated, etc.

By shopping at the Inconvenience Store, you will be making a revolutionary contribution to society: actively preventing food waste, thereby helping heal the environment, and supporting a non profit community based food charity.

Thank you!

If you wish to volunteer or make a donation please contact fwb@lentilasanything.com

Handmade: Stories of Strength Shared through Recipes

HANDMADE is a book of recipes collected from 34 widows of the war in Sri Lanka.

The women featured are from the North East of the island and throughout the book their incredible stories of courage are shared through their relationship with food.

Stunning photography is combined with the recipes that gave these women hope to provide a better life for their children.

Commissioned by Australian based charity Palmera, 100% of all profits from the sales of HANDMADE will be reinvested in rural women entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka.

You can purchase a copy in store at our Abbotsford, Thornbury (Melbourne) and Newtown (Sydney) locations or through our online store.

Visuals as Anything

Meet Jan, photographer, graphic designer and volunteer superstar author of Essentials of Lentils, the visual project that shares Lentils’ philosophy while encouraging more people to join the community.

It started for fun in front of a curry plate, a white page, a few creative minds chatting and the ultimate goal to help the community out. A couple of months and some curries later, we can finally see the results hanging on the walls of Lentil as Anything restaurants: 16 colourful posters featuring happy faces and powerful messages that will make you laugh.

Jan H. Stoerkel arrived in Australia nearly a year ago in search of a meaningful change in his life. To his corporate regular job in Berlin he preferred an exciting adventure and decided to leave for the unknown, working as a freelance while exploring this big wild country. He opened a blog named Visual Walkabout where he could keep track of his life journey, packed his equipment and he was ready to travel Down Under.

The idea of Essentials of Lentils was born in Sydney, where he fell in love with Lentil as Anything Newtown. Attracted by the delicious vegan food, the good vibes and the feeling of inclusion that he immediately had as he stepped in, he became an habitual customer. He enjoyed the time there, made good friends and eventually started to participate as waiting staff. And it’s when he met Nicole Khoury, Volunteer & Community Coordinator in Sydney, that the magic happened. Inspired by her words, his creative mind started to think about a different way of helping.

“I noticed that people do not always know everything that goes on in the community space”, says Nicole. “For many months I had this idea floating in my mind to visually communicate the core components of Lentils”. Then she met Jan and they started brainstorming. Why don't we play with photos and texts to show that every single volunteer is a hero? How can we communicate the complexity of Lentils’ world? How to share our values, be appealing and encourage everyone to join? How can we improve our image?

As we know, keeping alive a sharing community is not easy. Someone may think that not having a price on the menu means you can eat for free. Others might not understand why food is vegetarian, tables are full of smiling strangers with different background and social status. They may underestimate the value of this not-for-profit that proudly stands on a strong network of volunteers and kind donations of time or money. Or, not knowing that for many of our volunteers it also represents a stepping stone into the workforce and a tool for community development, some people could even complain because of the relaxed atmosphere. Talking to customers, friends and other staff members, Jan and Nicole thought that maybe this can be fixed with more - and different - information.

“Even if you know Lentils already, you may miss something”, says Jan with passion, “with these visuals I wanted to show all the facets of this beautiful community: the quality and presentation of the food, the interesting workshops, the effort that every superhero here is giving any single day need a professional look that will meet a higher standard and will give a boost to Lentils’ image”. And he did. Seven days of photo shooting in the workshop space, over 1300 shots, 53 volunteers involved, more than 20 meals involved, countless hours of post production, lots of chai, lots of love.

Not only. As a thank you gift from Jan and special souvenir, all the models and helpers that participated had the opportunity to get some portrait photos. The make up artists were enthusiast students thrilled by the chance to get some experience. Some of the photo equipment was bought from the recycling shop Reverse Garbage and are now part of the tools available in the workshop space in Lentils Newtown. Even part of the clothes used for a shoot were gently offered by the Red Cross shop down the corner. When you put together people with a positive can do attitude, synergies happen. Like with Adam, a talented autistic guy that happened to be around at the right time and unexpectedly got a photoshoot for his t-shirt e-commerce Adam’s Apples . While most of the models were selected to show the diversity of the community, many of them just popped in and joined the shooting for fun.

“I liked that the project was a collective effort”, Nicole comments. “Volunteers were involved in the pre-production planning as well as production itself. All the volunteers were cast over a week each attended a day of shooting without knowing much about the project. This made it a lovely surprise and created a great energy.” And when they saw the finished result, they were elated and grateful, although a bit embarrassed to see their face on such a high-end presentation.

As Ken Baird, Operations and Communications Manager of Lentil as Anything Thornbury says, he and his team were delighted when Jan reached out to show them Essentials of Lentils. “The time, energy, commitment and love put in to the project is commendable and sums up the Lentil experience today. Full of insights into volunteering, food, environment and community, its’ a must see for those wanting to understand more about Lentil as Anything. We are thrilled to showcase it at our Birthday Party on Oct 14th."

 

In fact, the posters will be exposed in Melbourne Thornbury during the second birthday party next Saturday Oct 14th and in Sydney Newtown after its renovation this month. Maybe someone will help finance a broader distribution of posters and postcards, maybe we will be able to see the visuals arounds our cities and collect postcards from bars and shops. Everything is possible, stay tuned.

By Giorgia Boitano

Nurture As Anything

a woman outdoors performing a yoga pose Written by Frances' Pearls of Confusion

‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind’.

Sound familiar to anyone? Whether you’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist etc., we have all heard, at one time or another, this famous line found in the Ten Commandments. (Don’t worry – this will not be a religious rant). Let’s break it down; What is it to love ‘God’? What is God?

Well, I don’t have the answer. But whether it resonates to you in the idea of Energy, Universe, Infinite, Light without an End, Source; it – whatever it is – is the crux of our existence, what we are made of – our essence. Think of it as the Divine within each and every one of us, and all of our Earthly inhabitants. So when I listen to that commandment, it works as a beautiful reminder of how important it is to love myself. Because what on earth am I doing here if I’m not doing that? I know with full confidence that I was not brought here to lead a life of self-hate, and how can I expect the world to know love if I don’t know it in myself. It’s just not possible. Which is what brings me to the oh-so-wonderful topic of NURTURE AS ANYTHING.

To nurture is to care and give attention to something that is growing. So as much as we can get sucked into the turbulence that inescapably exists in this game we call life, let’s take a step back to acknowledge that we are ever-changing and ever-evolving creatures. Not here to dwell on our pasts, and not here to try to take control of a non-existent future, but here to be completely present with the acceptance of reality as it is (not as we would like it to be).

To me, to nurture oneself is to become so connected with yourself and everything you do; eating, walking, bathing, dressing. Those ‘mundane’ things in life that actually take up so much of our day, but somehow end up just being a means to an end – an end that never really comes. You see we all have this ‘monkey mind’, which LOVES to speak-up and often wreak havoc, as it overrides our true inner voice. It loves to judge, to criticize, and complain. It does this in an attempt to protect us – a kind of misguided friend. When we experience what I like to call fluctuations, our roller-coaster of human emotions, our ‘friend’ begins a cycle of feedback loops and in that process, we lose touch of reality – and of how perfect we are in the good times and the not so good. Fortunately, we all have the pleasure and pain of having this companion with us. For me, nurturing is to get past that stream of mind-chatter and to cultivate a healthy and supportive relationship with myself – my true self. As I really am! This is what I refer to as ‘mindful living’, and the formal practice of mindful living is called ‘meditation’.

Whether you choose yoga, tai chi, qi gong or any one of the many forms of meditations (music, dance etc.) it is, as I like to say, going up the same mountain along different paths – which is what we’re all doing, isn’t it? The same desire to find peace, to find truth, and to just be happy. Living in a state of constant self-nurture and self-love. Only then may the world know the same. So let’s do it – let’s get in and amongst it! Practice your meditations – whichever suits your rhythm – and get connected with your flow. Observe the fluctuations and give them so much love that sometimes it’s overwhelming!

And watch as that love overflows and makes its way out, spreading to anyone and anything that comes your way, turning the wonderful idea of self-nurture to really nurturing ANYTHING.

Lots of love to you all!

To learn more about Frances visit her blog http://pearlsofconfusion.weebly.com/ or facebook page https://www.facebook.com/hathawithfrances

Japan comes to Thornbury Lentil as Anything

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Lentil as Anything is celebrating Japans famous Cherry Blossom Festival in style this year.

 

Starting from 6pm until close, Thornbury Lentils is fighting against this chilly weather and bringing some colour to Melbourne.

Come on down this Saturday 8th of April and enjoy some traditional vegan food and have a taste of Japan this Autumn.

More details on the facebook event here