It’s the shop that just keeps giving…

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By Kate Foreman

Bliss Kingston SE has heart and integrity – a little café and gift shop on the Limestone Coast that puts the local community first.

And has been doing so for over four years now.

Owner Suzanne Drabsch wanted to provide the local community with a place to go seven days a week where you could not only enjoy a coffee but you could also look over a range of beautifully made home wares and giftware.

Bliss has since exceeded all expectations Suzanne ever had, with lots of support from the community.

“I wanted to open something which would be known for its quality service, quality coffee and which showcased local produce,” Suzanne said.

“It’s important to support local where I can… we have Mahalia Coffee from Robe, home-made cakes from Sweet Desires in Keith and biscuits from Moments to Savour in Mount Gambier, to name a few,” she said.

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The café not only attracts locals and passing tourists but it’s those down on their luck that have real reason to thank Bliss.

Suzanne soon introduced ‘suspended’ coffees – a tradition first seen in Naples, Italy where a customer pays for an additional cup of coffee in ‘credit’.

“People donate a coffee, and then at the end of the month we provide coffee vouchers to those in need,” Suzanne said.

Suzanne also donates extra vouchers to the monthly tally to be divided between local organisations such as AC Care, the New Life Centre and the Bay Life Church – so far more than 400 coffees have been donated.

The New Life Centre’s Kobus Olivier says the initiative has been well received by all those involved.

“People are always amazed and wonder why they are getting a free coffee, but then they are so grateful,” he said. ““It is fantastic for someone going through a tough time.”

“We all support Suzanne because it is coming from her heart and a place of giving back to the community.”

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Bliss also provides school-based traineeships and has created Bliss Bags for children at the Kingston Hospital.

“I am proud of the business Bliss has turned into, it’s about providing a great experience for everyone, no matter who you are, and supporting those in the local community,” Suzanne said.

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