Folonomo, Symbol and Portal are built on the simple belief that we all live in an interconnected world, where every action can symbolise an act of gratitude, empathy and compassion. Nicolas Degryse (Co-founder of Folonomo restaurant), wanted to build a way for customers to have an even more direct connection to the impact they were having and empower them to choose their own social or environmental outcomes.
At Ame, Folonomo, Symbol and Portal, the healthy, delicious food makes it easy to be satisfied and also be kind to your body. The menu, designed by ex-Rockpool group chef Michal Siudeja, comprises nutrient-rich foods such as healthy salads, raw treats and fresh sandwiches. Our catering menu is both visually stunning and nutritious at the same time. The group's passion is for “slow food”. We deeply care about the future of small scale farmers, their produce, the taste and flavour they bring to life. Our cafe provides fresh, organic and local products in sustainable, recycled and biodegradable, compostable packaging.
The ground floor lobby has been refurbished in a ultra modern, minimalistic manner with 500m2 floor space including free wifi, auditorium, yoga studio, art exhibitions and open-plan, communal workstations. Artists exhibited include Mertim Gokalp, Nick Stathopoulos, Michael Simms, Marie Mansfield and Lucy West-Sooby.
By simply enjoying a breakfast, lunch or even just a coffee at one of our venues, you allow the cafe to help embody the change you want to see in the world. Whether this is through indirectly supporting our group training program (Symbols of Hope) or through the impact jar model you become a part of, by voting on the charity you wish to support (see 'How it works' below). Bringing smiles to other people’s faces is what the group aims to do, and our team believe that we can build businesses that value empathy and excellence at the same time.
THE PURE COLLECTIVE
Our venues are part of The Pure Collective, an ecosystem of social enterprises, a passionate team of people and a philanthropic Foundation. Every organisation within the Collective strives to find creative ways of fostering gratitude and empathy in our day-to-day lives.
Since 2015, the group has served hundreds of thousands of customers, helped generate donations for a diverse range of charities, provided over 4000 hours of practical training for refugees, asylum seekers, at-risk youth, young people suffering from mental illness and young people with a disability.
HOW IT WORKS?
HOW IT WORKS?
HOW IT WORKS
THE SHORT VERSION
You vote by putting a bouncy ball in a jar linked to the charity of your choice. Each charity reports a direct impact from our donation.
We pay our team, all our bills, setup costs and Symbols of Hope expenses, then donate all our profits to the charities voted on by you, our customers.
THE LONG VERSION
With every item purchased, you receive a tiny bouncy ball. This represents a vote, for each customer to choose the change they would like to see in the world, through simply making their purchase.
Customers vote by placing their ball in one of the three jars, each linked to the three current charities being featured at the venue (charity partner examples below).
Every day the jars are emptied, balls counted and votes are tallied in all our venues. The records are kept and over time all accounting information is also compiled.
The Pure Collective tracks the profitability of each venue, after paying all standard business expenses (staff wages, food costs, repaying setup and ongoing costs), priority is placed on maintaining the Symbols of Hope program. Any surplus profit is put aside to be allocated to according to the votes of customers and donated to our central Foundation to make grants to the customer chosen charities. These amounts are pooled and grants are made twice a year.
The Pure Foundation runs a zero administration cost model. Our Foundation has no paid staff and it's running costs are paid by our businesses. So any external donations go 100% to cause. The corpus is even reinvested into new social enterprises. Donations were originally made from venues monthly, to each charity; 36 donations a year x 3 venues = 108 small donations. Very quickly this became time intensive and expensive to manage and also challenging because of the variability of profit measurement. So today donations are consolidated across the whole group and made together, in June and again in December to reduce paperwork, administration, receipting and payment costs of remitting more frequent, micro-donations.
The Symbols of Hope program is a powerful way to build a pathway that is not usually offered to people who have fallen through the gaps. It's also a way for our teams to actually create intrinsic impact in our own group businesses and embody our own tangible change. We are so grateful to our partners and donors.
Aside from the the bouncy balls votes and donations, beyond even the Symbols of Hope program, we as a community believe that our greatest impact is neither of these alone. Our greatest achievement is to build a new model that is driven for love, not money. One that can thrive in the future, as part of a larger eco-system, across multiple industries and with a multidimensional approach to embodying change. A example that can be sustainable and one day scalable, combining empathy and excellence. We have a lot of work to do still to get there, but that is our bold dream. One coffee at a time.
Portrait by Kathrin Longhurst Mariama (above) Symbols of Hope Scholarship Recipient
OUR ROCKSTAR PARTNERS
The Pure Collective is eternally grateful to Charter Hall for providing our group with a unique platform, to establish a service offering in some on the countries premier addresses and facilitate our ongoing Symbols of Hope training program. We are would never have been able to consider expanding our model outside of our first Surry Hills location so quickly, if it were not for their tremendous generosity and vision. We look forward to the growth of this collaboration and partnership well into the future.
The Pure Collective met Paul and Robbin Moulds in 2017 and continues to be inspired by their tireless and superhuman work, supporting people from a range of different backgrounds, who have slipped through societies gaps. We are proud and humbled to continue our collaboration, with the hope that it can scale it's impact as we grow and become more resilient and sustainable. For more information about our collaboration please see our Symbols of Hope section:
For more information and the remarkable and inspiring work of Paul and Robbin, we would encourage you to watch one of the enlightening documentaries. Exploring their work and the unspoken reality faced by many forgotten Australians:
Our Charity Impact Partners
The Pure Collective also works with a wide range of DGR 1 status charities who carefully measure the costs, social outputs and social outcomes each year so that they can provide us with accurate guidance to define what impact our donations can create. Here are some of the options our customer community have chosen from:
GIVE A SANDWICH
to a hungry Australian student
It may surprise you to know that 1 in 8 Australian school children arrive at school hungry everyday. This effects concentration, conduct and their ability to get through a full day of learning. Many of these children come from low income and often disadvantaged backgrounds and may not be getting proper nutrition at home either. Eat Up is a small grass roots organisation that is working to change that. By empowering their huge volunteer community and leveraging donations of produce, they are able to keep overhead costs to an absolute minimum and have produced thousands of lunches.
and help offset carbon
GIVE A MEAL
to an Australian in need,
with rescued food
Climate change effects everyone. Rising water levels in our oceans, extreme weather events, increases in food costs, acidification of our oceans, destruction of wildlife and unique treasures like our Great Barrier Reef and so many other direct damaging impacts on our eco-system. By choosing this option you are helping us reduce the carbon footprint of the building by offsetting carbon in our atmosphere. Did you know that just the electricity used in the common spaces of 65 Berry street creates a carbon footprint in excess of 68 Tonnes of carbon a month. With your help we have the potential to offset 50% of that or more.
Did you know we waste $20Bn worth of food as a country each year? We have partnered with the amazing team at OzHarvest who take rescued food and repurpose it to feed the country’s most vulnerable. This includes a huge focus on trying to feed the countries homeless, whilst also building innovative solutions like the "donate what you want" OzHarvest Market and addressing education of the next generation of young Australians through their Feast program. The idea that there are an estimated 100,000 people who are homeless in a country wasting so much food is something we simply don't understand. Oz Harvest we do.
KEEP A CHILD SAFE
from slavery for a day
We’ve all heard of human trafficking and have seen the stories on TV, but it still seems another world away. Across our planet, more than the population of Australia and New Zealand combined, are in slavery right this minute. While it seems like a hopeless situation, there is so much that can be done to prevent it. Blue Dragon is an Australian charity working in Vietnam, with a grassroots approach that finds and rescues victims of human trafficking and homelessness, and also cares for them as they recover; as well as supporting their return home and back to education.
EMPOWER A GIRL
to stay in secondary school
Room to Read is a global organisation transforming the lives of millions of children in low-income communities by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. They work in collaboration with local communities, partner organisations, and governments to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children and ensure girls can complete secondary school with the skills necessary to negotiate key life decisions. Room to Read has benefited 16.6 million children across more than 30,000 communities in 16 countries.
with emergency water supplies
Rural Aid is one of the largest rural charities in Australia. A nationwide charity, it was founded by Charles and Tracy Alder in 2015. Its focus is twofold – to provide support to farmers and rural communities in times of natural disaster as well as supporting the sustainability of the agricultural sector. Rural Aid’s primary purpose is to provide assistance to relieve the poverty, illness, distress or significant and unusual disadvantage of individuals and families conducting, directly or indirectly, primary production businesses and who are or have been adversely affected by droughts, floods and other natural disasters.