How Two Good Co is “fighting the good fight” this Christmas
Two Good Co is collaborating with a range of small businesses and social enterprises to release its new ‘Christmas gifts for good’ festive range. Starting in 2015 as an organic soup kitchen in Kings Cross, the social enterprise has scaled over the years. It now includes a ‘buy one, give one’ model – featuring luxury gift packs and self-care products – with proceeds going to local domestic violence refuges. The social enterprise has also collaborated with top chefs across the country
untry for its Two Good Cook Book Two, reinvesting 50 per cent of profits from the cookbook into its Two Good Foundation, which supports employment programs for women at risk of homelessness.
It has donated over 300,000 meals, with its Work Work employment pathways program hiring over 30 women from the shelters it works with. The organisation aims to employ 60 people each year, while also providing training and development in tailored roles so they are able to re-enter the workforce.
Founder and chief executive of Two Good Co, Rob Caslick tells Inside Retail that the organisation’s main social impact is the pathways program, with over $1.3 million spent on wages through the Work Work initiative.
“Providing someone with a job and allowing them to believe in themselves again is when the magic happens. When they start to believe they can do this, that they’re employable and can start earning an income again. That transformational change [is] part of why I left my full-time job, and focused on this full time,” he said.
“This year, we had 32 women come through our programs. They are all paid above-award wages, and we work on getting [them] a job after two years. Then we do it all again. It’s an expensive way to run a business, but it’s why we’re all here fighting the good fight.”
The organisation also works with top chefs across the country, sells meals to corporates across Australia, and donates meals to the shelters.
“As the old saying goes, when you break bread together, you create community,” he said.
“That’s certainly what we do.”
Two Good Co also has an online store that sells a range of luxurious and sustainable goods, including toiletries, apparel, blankets, candles and hand wash.
It has released new offerings ahead of Christmas, including a strawberry gum and pepperberry curing salt made from locally and sustainably sourced ingredients, and a seasonal spice pack with Blak Cede citrus salt, made by the women-led, Waminda First Nations social enterprise, Black Cede.
Other products include hardwood cutting boards made by a flood-affected business in Lismore, Christmas crackers and dining sets, and china plates made in collaboration with entrepreneur Alyce Tran’s new homewares venture, Roundhouse. With every Christmas cracker sold, a meal is donated to someone staying in a women’s refuge. Two Good Co also reinvests 50 per cent of profits back into the Two Good Foundation.
According to Caslick, everything is packed and labelled in its headquarters by the people employed as part of its pathways program. Two Good Co is also working with small businesses that are trying to recover from the bushfires and floods that have occurred over the last few years.
“After the  bushfires, we went on a tour of the south coast to work out what impact we could continue to have after a lot of the big services left,” he said.
“We met with the [Blak Cede], and we had really good synergy. They buy our things, we buy and promote their things. It’s been a nice relationship that we’ve developed since first heading down there two years ago.
“Similarly, after the floods in Lismore, we looked at businesses we could collaborate with. The chopping board manufacturer fitted our suite of products.
“We’re helping to send revenue into these areas.”
Two Good Co is working towards selling 5000 festive gift packs leading up to – and during – the Christmas period.
Although cost-of-living pressures can add to the challenges of selling luxury gifts, Caslick says that the products are well-made and customers can trace the provenance of where they are made. He said it’s a premium price for a premium, well-made product.
Regarding future plans, Two Good Co is focused on growing its reach. It is looking at another site which would have more reach in Western Sydney, and is exploring how it can work with other organisations in different parts of Australia.
He adds that Christmas is an important – but also, often, a difficult period –for the people involved in its programs.
“The festive season can be a particularly challenging time for people experiencing hardship and isolation [and we’re] wanting to support people through these times.
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