By Steph McNicol –
WHITTLESEA Deli Café owner Dave Cordell says he is overwhelmed by the community support during COVID-19 after he was on the receiving end of deeds by some kind souls.
Mr Cordell said the spree of kindness happened earlier this month when one of his staff members found an envelope with his name on it, holding much more than just a heartfelt letter.
“One of my staff members went into the cool room and found an envelope slid under the door with my name on it, and inside was a letter with a substantial amount of money,” he said.
“The letter said ‘enclosed is a small amount of money that might help you keep going during these tough times… I am not wealthy… it is a small thank you for your good services and all the work you have put into Whittlesea… you have helped a lot of people over the years… we need cafés like yours to survive this’.
“It took me the whole day to process it, I was just in shock.
“Even my staff member said ‘I’ve never seen you lost for words over something before’.”
The kindness continued when a regular customer ordered more than just a bacon and egg roll for his breakfast, and paid $300 towards coffees for the community.
“After he ordered his food he came back and I thought I made a mistake with his order, but he handed me the money and he said ‘here’s $300 for 50 coffees’,” Mr Cordell said.
“I asked him ‘are you sure?’ and he said to me ‘100 per cent, I just want to look after the community’. My other customers were just astonished by this.”
To connect the community further than with coffees and delicious food, Mr Cordell has also joined with the Whittlesea op-shop to create a puzzle swap.
Members of the community are welcome to visit the cafe and swap a puzzle from home with one on the jigsaw table, or they can bring a book to swap at the small library the café has created.
“We made a small book-swap which has brought in more people because libraries have closed,” Mr Cordell said.
The café owner said he was thankful to the community support and it was a good time to stand together.
“I just want to say a huge thank you to the community. They have been so amazing and so supportive. We’re all in it together and it’s great that we all support each other,” he said.
“Everyone puts a lot of money into businesses, and I don’t want to see them fold.”
Mr Cordell said people could continue ordering coffees and all their favourite foods at the café as they were abiding by strict regulations by only allowing two customers inside at one time and limiting face-to-face contact.