Burnt Butter cafe encouraging social interaction with new initiative

By Jared Prestwidge

BURNT Butter owner Jess Scoble has seen thousands of people come and go through her time at the cafe.

And over the past few years she has noticed the steady decline of social activity among her customers, in the shop as well as out on the street.

“Everyone is scared to talk to each other nowadays, everyone has their head down in their phones when they’re walking down the street. There is no smile and no hello,” Ms Scoble said.

“It’ll make a world of a difference for someone to say, ‘how is your day?’ or ‘how is the weather?’.”

So, to help promote some good old-fashioned social interaction to the people of Kyabram, Burnt Butter has teamed up with Queensland mental health organisation Bite the Blue and introduced special blue medallions that serve as an invitation to anyone looking for a casual chat to join their table.

Ms Scoble said this new initiative was a great way to bring in some much-needed cheer, as well as provide an ear to someone in need.

“We’ve had a lot of people in the last week that come and get a coffee on their own. So, I guess a place like this is a good starting point,” she said.

“We want people to feel comfortable and happy to chat here.

“It was designed as an open invitation that you are feeling a bit down and it would be good to have someone to chat with, or the reverse side where you’re feeling great and happy to share that.”

Since announcing the cafe’s involvement with Bite the Blue on its Facebook page last week, Ms Scoble said the reaction from the public had been enormous.

“It’s reached 16,000 people on our Facebook page,” she said.

“We’ve had over a hundred people comment on there and people coming in saying they would be more than happy to share their table with someone if they wanted to talk. The response has been huge.”

She hopes people will bring that enthusiasm showed online right back into the cafe and come together for a nice chinwag.

“It’s just bringing back conversation. People don’t know how to communicate anymore and to talk.

“It’s not an invitation to come and sit for three hours and tell your life story, it’s purely a chance to lift someone up … and we can offer that, why wouldn’t we?”