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Coffee, cakes and more at the people’s café

GLEBE: There’s a warm welcome for everyone at Le Petit Tarte.

Patrons are greeted with a smile and invitation to stay for coffee and cakes, delicious dumplings, bagels or quiche (vegan and vegetarian options), to read a book or work on a writing project, to chat with friends or check out the artwork upstairs. The café is open from 7.30am to 6pm, seven days a week.

Café owner Mark Zheng works hard every day and is always quick with a kind word for regulars, newcomers and staff.

When did you start working at Le Petit Tarte?
I started working at the café at the end of 2010. Running a cafe allows me to be creative and express my passion to create better quality products. I love cooking and making coffee! I also enjoy having a simple chat with customers about a whole range of topics. I enjoy conversing, learning, and exchanging ideas.

What’s most important when it comes to maintaining inclusive community space?
Personally welcoming customers is important because it creates an air of friendliness and warmth. It shows that I am interested in my customers. Producing good fresh food, cooked with skill and thoughtfulness, adds to the inclusive community feeling.

What lessons are you learning about business and community?
If you treat people well and fairly, they will enjoy their café experience. Cooking my food with honesty and a caring hand, I use my business to give back to the community. It’s all about having a caring attitude because that is what earns respect from others.

Do you have plans to develop or expand the business?
We may consider expanding the takeaway service. Our main purpose is to meet social and cultural needs and keep a positive approach to make people from all backgrounds feel at home and feel respected. I like to think of the café as “the people’s café”.

I like living and working in Glebe because …
There is a strong community spirit in Glebe and a lot of cultural diversity. People show they care about each other by simple courtesies and concern for those who are not so well off. I receive so much inspiration from everyone that walks through my doors, from their art to their pets, I genuinely enjoy spending every moment with the people of Glebe.

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Printed copies of the SSH are available from Le Petit Tarte (219 Glebe Point Road). See our website for a full list of print locations: www.southsydneyherald.com.au/distribution

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