We want to be so much more than a family friendly café, we hope to be a home away from home
Welcome to Little Teapot!
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.
We are just starting our third year now of Little Teapot and have had the incredible joy of coming alongside many of our regular Teapotters as they journey through the ups and downs of life, we’ve connected families into local programs and activities, we run New to the Community sessions for families new to the area as well as give away suspended coffees to new mums or those doing it tough via the Maternal & Child Health Nurses and playgroups.
Little Teapot Café & Play is a not for profit registered charity, so all the profits go back to the community. Little Teapot works in partnership with Lifeway Christian Church in Lara. The church community is 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 local organisations, individuals and businesses that have partnered with Little Teapot to enable it to be what it is today. Find out more about who our Major Sponsors and Supporters are here. Little Teapot has approximately 50 passionate and wonderful staff and volunteers from all walks of life and backgrounds in the community that are led by the board of directors listed below.
We dream of people being welcomed,
loved & accepted
We are passionate about providing a welcoming community hub that offers good value, family-friendly service, locally sourced food and drinks (where possible) as well as a clean, safe environment where parents and carers can enjoy time with their children. We believe every person is incredible and should be loved and accepted for who they are. We love partnering with our Teapot families to give suspended coffee vouchers to new mums or mums doing it tough via the Maternal & Child Health Nurses and playgroups.
We dream of seeing people connected in community
Being a parent is such a joy but also so challenging at times! We dream of being able to help families connect with each other, with local services and with their local community.
o We have monthly ‘new to the community’ sessions for families that have just moved to the area and other specialty events
o We have a local weekly community events calendar for families displayed at the café as well as a big community notice board.
o We liaise with local services in the area that help families and refer parents and carers to these organisations
o We are working towards facilitating new mothers groups and other groups for grandparents, carers and parents – this year we are starting ‘Teapot Time’ a weekly crafty/playdoh session for children that will allow parents to connect in an informal way
o We offer families further support by informing them about programs facilitated by our supporting church
We are here to give back
Our hope is that any profits (surplus remaining after the running costs are paid) go towards programs run in the community that will help families. We will listen to what the Little Teapot families want for the community, liaise with local churches, the maternal health nurses and other organisations to ensure profits are used wisely and locally.
All at Little Teapot will contribute to creating a place where people from various backgrounds can find a place of acceptance, community and incredible kindness.
We will aim to respect and value each person.
We will seek to understand more than to be understood, we will become excellent listeners.
We will show care and extravagant generosity in all we do, how we serve and how we make our food.
We will together dream big dreams for Little Teapot and all the families that go to Little Teapot.
We hope and will aim to ensure that everyone who comes to Little Teapot finds bucket loads of joy, fun and ultimately love.
Who we are - Little Teapot Board of Directors
Sarah Chaney – Community Leader & Director
Sarah Chaney has a background in strategic business management and is excited about using those skills to help the Little Teapot team express love in action to the local community. Sarah wants to see people from all walks of life loved and valued. Prior to Little Teapot, Sarah was at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in various senior executive and Television business management roles for ten years and worked as a Production Manager before that in smaller production companies in Melbourne.
Elizabeth Smith – Chairperson, Company Secretary & Director
Elizabeth is a chartered accountant who is passionate about social enterprise. She currently works as the Finance Manager & Company Secretary of a Melbourne based social enterprise, Green Collect Limited. Prior to working in the not for profit sector, Elizabeth worked for a mid tier chartered accounting firm providing business and accounting services to family owned businesses.
John Harper – Treasurer & Director
John is a Chartered Accountant with over ten years of experience in Accounting, specialising in financial reporting and compliance. John currently works in the finance leadership team at Cotton On Group in Geelong. Prior to this, John worked for nine years in Assurance for Deloitte Melbourne where he gained board level experience with clients from Listed, Not-for-profit and Government entities.
Rhonda Douglas – Director
Rhonda is the Chaplain at Little River Primary School and Northern Bay College and is passionate about advocating for and helping families. Rhonda has had the honour of walking alongside hundreds if not thousands of children and parents when they have been struggling. Rhonda also served as the Children’s Ministry Leader at Lifeway Christian Church for 25 years where she grew in her passion for helping children, young people and families.
Jianni Patiradjwane - Director
Jianni is an experienced Business Development Manager (MAP coffee, Jasper coffee and currently Little Things with World Vision) with a demonstrated history of working in the food and beverages industry. Skilled in business planning, management, international sales, coaching and account management, Jianni has a passion for all things coffee.
Advisors to the board
Derek Bradshaw (consultant)
Derek is the Community Leader and Founder of ‘Now and Not Yet’ an incredible social enterprise in Warrandyte that cares passionately about people, coffee and food. Derek brings a wealth of experience and wisdom to the board and has been working closely with Little Teapot Café & Play recently. He also consults for, supports and encourages many new and emerging social enterprises and social entrepreneurs in and around the Melbourne and Geelong regions.
John has experience in the not-for-profit sector having served as chairperson of the drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre, Foundation 61; board member and consultant to Geelong Christian College; chairperson of Covenant College; chairperson of the Barrabool Christian Foundation; CEO and founder of OneCare Geelong and assisted in starting up various other not-for-profits. Over this time, he has also run a commercial consultancy business that works primarily in residential property development. Prior to this, he worked in the investment banking industry in Melbourne for JBWere and the Colonial Group as an investment manager for fifteen years.