Bellingen is in the grips of a barista bonanza.
The volunteer-operated café, Mary’s Teahouse at Bellinger River District Hospital, now has nine new recruits who, last week, were put through their paces at a training day.
The café is operated by the hospital’s Pink and Hospital Auxiliary volunteers and profits are donated back to the hospital in the form of new medical equipment or improved patient comfort items, such as recliners and comfy chairs.
The Auxiliary’s President, Deb Anderson, said she was delighted with the new recruits, who spent their training day learning how to make lattes, cappuccinos, short and long blacks, chai and hot chocolates.
The newcomers also had training in the day-to-day operations of the café, which is proving popular with patients, visitors and staff.
Mrs Anderson said the feedback from café visitors had been extremely positive, and she hoped even more recruits would come forward to volunteer their time behind the counter.
“We really would like to open the café longer. At the moment, we are open three days a week, but a lot of our customers are asking us to open five,” Mrs Anderson said.
“To do that, we need more volunteers as many of our existing volunteers are intrepid travellers and like their holidays.”
Anyone wanting to find out more information, or join the café roster, can phone Mrs Anderson on 0409 311 349.