Programs & Facilities - Hospitality

Ballarat Specialist School’s Hospitality Program now oversees a number of different areas. All programs are run for our students. We aim to give them an experience of working in a real-life situation to gain workskills and promote greater feelings of confidence and self-esteem. We are first and foremost a training Café and we ask customers to be patient and kind as our students always do the best they can. In the past we have had up to 85 students rotate on a roster system each week. They range from 11 to 18 years of age. We welcome you to visit our cafes during opening hours to experience for yourself how wonderful our students are.

Located at our Gillies Street Campus, Special Treats is open to the public Monday to Friday from 9am till 2pm. Special Treats serves great coffee, milk shakes, light lunches, slices, scones, muffins and biscuits. We serve soups in cold weather and salad through the warmer months. Special Treats is a popular place to be and is very cosy with lovely comfy couches and an inviting covered deck area to enjoy a leisurely coffee or lunch.

Located at the FARM Campus in Norman Street our purpose built Bakery and Café is an amazing place to visit. Our baker and his ex- student apprentice start at 6am each morning to get the bread, scones and slices baked for the day. Assisting the baker boys are two school based apprentices who each work two days a week.
When the bus arrives at 9.30 from Gillies St with more students, the bakery becomes a hive of activity with lots of willing helpers offering to lend a much needed hand. The bakery supplies both cafes and the VET Hospitality Kitchen with all the bread, foccacias, slices, scones and sausage rolls needed for catering. The bakery also has outside orders which need to be baked, packed and delivered to canteens and kitchens around Ballarat.
The FARM Café is a very busy place that has been extremely well supported by the public since it opened its doors in March 2014. Open to the public Monday to Friday from 9am till 3pm (Friday closing is 2.30pm) the café has a bright, welcoming atmosphere. Surrounded by a large deck area overlooking the farm animals and orchard it is the perfect place to enjoy morning tea, lunch or a quiet cuppa while reading the paper. Parking is plentiful and access to the building is suitable for anyone with a wheelchair or walker. The coffee is great and the deli fridge is full of fresh food to choose from for your lunch or morning tea.
Bookings are advisable as most days the café is extremely busy. Phone 53387561 to make a booking.

Always a hive of activity, this is the place where the food is made for both cafes, the Education Centre and outside catering orders. Located behind the Bakery at the FARM Campus the kitchen was opened in December 2014. Call in and meet our chef and her apprentice. They are assisted each day by a team of enthusiastic students. The Kitchen Team deliver a Cert II in Hospitality to 11 students who have shown a keen interest in working in the Hospitality Industry.
The commercial Kitchen is adjacent to The Education Centre where we cater for large group Bookings. This room can hold up to 150 people for sit down lunches, conferences, meetings or Morning teas. For Booking enquiries for The Education Centre please phone 53387561 The Kitchen is aiming to use all the produce grown at the FARM Campus on a day to day basis in the food we cook and also to make jams, preserves, chutneys and relishes as the orchard and Market garden start to yield. Watch this space!!!

Café Plus
Cafe plus is a new program developed in conjunction with and run by the Therapy Team. Café Plus is for students who may be overwhelmed by the busy cafes, but enjoy being included in the Hospitality Program. Café Plus runs on Monday and Wednesday afternoons from the kitchen at Special Treats Café. Therapists Jess and Hannah work with the students to make juices and smoothies that are available for sale.

The Canteen Program is another program that has been introduced and came about as the result of another school approaching us to supply lunch orders for their students. Run on Thursday mornings from the YAC Kitchen a team of staff and senior students work to a strict time-line to prepare, heat and package a large number of lunch orders. The orders are picked up in The Bakery delivery van and transported to the other school in time for lunch.