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Leederville favourite cooks up a storm

The kindness of strangers has created a flan-demic at one of Leederville’s best-loved cafes.

Sayers Food co-owners Julie Pringle and chef Michael Ashurst are working hard to keep their business afloat after losing 20 employees and more than 90 per cent of their income to the wrath of COVID-19.

But that hasn’t stopped them baking luscious sweet and savoury tarts and donating them to help people who are experiencing homelessness and escaping violence at Ruah Community Services’ inner-city centres and refuges.

Their gift of hand-made tarts has been made possible by the generosity of one of the café’s regular clients who wants to remain anonymous after handing over $800 to fund the project.

“It was such a kind gesture it had me in tears,” said Julie. “So far, he has paid for 19 large tarts, and that money has helped our business survive. Knowing we are helping people in need too is just amazing.”

The coordinator of Ruah’s Kambarang Place, Helen Skoog, said the treats were the highlight of an Easter season which had been tough for many families.

“I came to work and there wasn’t a trace left so everyone is really looking forward to another delicious batch,” Helen said.

“We know people are doing it hard, particularly in the cafes and restaurants, so a gift like this means we are all benefitting.”

Julie and Michael have been working in the cafe for 12 years and bought the business six years ago, building a team of loyal customers and fans.

Their anonymous benefactor, simply known as CF, is a café regular who usually meets with a group of 15 business friends for breakfast once a week.

“Out of the blue, he sent me a text to say he wanted to pay us to make 10 tarts and give them to people in need,” Julie said.

“Then he came in the other day and asked us to make some more. I really wanted to give him a hug. I am overwhelmed by his generosity. It is just amazing that there are people out there who are willing to help others who are doing it tough.

“Things like this inspire me to keep going. It’s been difficult. We aren’t afraid of hard work but there are still outgoings to cover and that hasn’t been easy.

“I rang around looking for the best place to send the food and discovered Ruah and the wonderful work they are doing.”

For 60 years, Ruah has been helping vulnerable and disadvantaged people in Perth. It operates a range of community-based support services including three inner city centres – Kambarang Place crisis accommodation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, Harmony Place for women and children escaping domestic violence, and the Ruah Centre for people experiencing homelessness.

Photo caption

Sayers Food co-owner Julie Pringle, left, donates the gift of gourmet food to Helen Skoog, from Ruah Community Services.