The One Mile Kitchen Cafe

Tucked away in the Opal Cottage at Richmond, the charming One Mile Kitchen Cafe offers support and training in hospitality to people with disabilities.

The One Mile Kitchen Cafe may be difficult to miss, as it is hidden within The Secret Garden and overlooks the nursery. However, you can expect to be greeted by a very colourful cow statue at the entrance: vibrant rainbow colours setting the standard for the warm service you will receive.

Inside, staff with a spectrum of disabilities receive training in barista skills, cooking and customer service. Their menu is simple but has a variety of hot lunch specials, coffees and gourmet toasties.

Eight years ago, NorthWest Disability Services expanded The Secret Garden from its origins as a garden centre for people with disabilities. Today, it is a thriving not-for-profit community centre that organises three annual festivals and a variety of workshops catering to everyone’s needs and interests.

With over 20 years in disability support and previous experience in youth work, Hawkesbury coordinator and local Wayne Williams expresses pride in his team and the supportive environment they have built together: “This is a place where everyone is welcome.

The volunteers at the secret garden nursery

Our Cafe offers a sense of autonomy and independence. It’s a very inclusive environment where people take a lot of pride and ownership in their work. Some of our participants have scored their first job outside of this establishment and that’s such a proud moment for them, and us”.

The Secret Garden Nursery is a green thumb’s dream, with a great range of budgetfriendly plants including cottage garden flowers and succulents. As a registered charity, their nursery reimburses funds into the community and supports their various endeavours.

A recent addition is their Ladies’ Shed open Thursday and Saturday from 10am to noon, where learning is at the heart of its core. The various workshops teach women a range of skills with the purpose as Wayne quotes to, “Learn what you can and teach what you can.”

The Secret Garden is run by volunteers and would love more community-minded individuals to assist with their day programs and other ventures. You can reach out to Caroline, the Hawkesbury Assistant Coordinator at opal@ or express your interest with NorthWest Disability Services on 02 9686 4155.

Visit The One Mile Kitchen Cafe at Clydesdale Lane on the Western Sydney University campus, Richmond NSW 2753 (enter from Londonderry Road). Large groups can be booked over the phone on 0414 784 460. The Cafe is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 2pm, and The Secret Garden is open 9am to 4pm.