Grounded is a socially aware initiative giving young people an opportunity to receive professional training whilst increasing their chances of gaining employment within the café industry. This social enterprise is a partnership between Whitelion and Charlie Coffee.

It is located at The Hub in Mt Druitt – 9 Ayres Grove, Mt Druitt (next to the library). Grounded offers customers speciality coffee roasted by Charlie Coffee, food by an array of quality suppliers all while making a social difference.

How does it work?

A social enterprise is basically a sustainable and profitable business model created to solve a social issue within a community. The purpose of Grounded is to help increase the employability of local young people who may be facing multiple barriers while also bringing speciality coffee into the area. Valuable work experience, skills and training are gained by the young people working in the café. Any ‘profit’ from the enterprise is reinvested back into Whitelion to help them continue to support more young people. It’s a ‘win/win’ for the whole community.

Who is involved?

Whitelion is a community based, not for profit charity that has been supporting young people around Australia for over 17 years. The charity opens doors to opportunities, positive relationships and community connections for young people aged between 10 to 25 years old, with practical support through mentoring, outreach, education and employment programs.

Charlie Coffee is a boutique coffee roaster and café operator with a few café locations across the Sydney CBD. They pride themselves in supplying quality coffee and have been successful over the last few years. It is run by its two founders, Saxon Griese and Lachlan Grant, who are also passionate about helping young people.

Charlie Coffee provides the skills and experience in running a successful café business. Whitelion provides the young people, who are looking to gain valuable work experience and job ready skills. Together, they create new opportunities and a brighter future for the young people in the Mt Druitt community.


Our supporters


Blacktown Council is committed to supporting Whitelion to make a success of the venture, by generously providing the opportunity to establish Grounded with a subsidised rental agreement. This allows Grounded to have the opportunity to maximise income for the venture whilst still offering fair pricing and outstanding service to our customers.


Grant Thornton is one of the world's leading organisations of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms. Mark Griffith is the inaugural Chair Person of the steering committee for the Grounded Café and is a senior partner within Grant Thornton.


Jones Day Lawyers are a legal institution with more than 2,500 lawyers on five continents, is based on a set of core principles - the most critical of which is a relentless focus on client service that transcends individual interests. Jones Day Lawyers Sydney provided Pro Bono Legal support with setting up the partnership agreement between Whitelion and Charlie Coffee.


For more information on Grounded, please visit or contact Daniel Barraza (Social Enterprise Coordinator/Grounded Café Manager) on 0400 636 045.