Newcastle bar Coal & Cedar runs free hospitality courses as part of its 'conscious capitalism' approach to business

At your service: Coal & Cedar co-owner Ethan Ortlipp, right, with Lincoln Room barber Branden Evans and Elliot Pogonoski. Picture: Marina Neil.
At your service: Coal & Cedar co-owner Ethan Ortlipp, right, with Lincoln Room barber Branden Evans and Elliot Pogonoski. Picture: Marina Neil.

THE duo behind some of Newcastle’s most innovative hospitality businesses are offering free training to help the unemployed get a foothold in the industry.

Ethan Ortlipp and Ryan Hawthorne co-own speakeasy Coal & Cedar on Hunter Street, which includes The Lincoln Room Barber and Shave Parlour and cafe Fort Whiskey Espresso. The pair are also co-owners of the Royal Crown Hotel in Dudley and in the past have run hip Darby Street eateries The Bronx and The Bowery Boys.

Mr Ortlipp, 36, said a chat with a friend at craft brewery Stone & Wood led him to research so-called conscious capitalism, and he wanted to make a more positive impact in the community.

“We are happy with our business but it’s time to be smarter, and it’s time to give back,” he says simply.

 Coal & Cedar has all but eliminated plastic straws and single-use serviettes and uses every bit of produce – for example, orange rind is used in cocktails, the flesh in salads. It is keen to work with suppliers who share its ethos.

The next step is staging the free hospitality workshops on February 27 and March 6, which are open to those over the age of 18 and of all abilities (an RSA is not essential).

Mr Ortlipp said the workshops were designed to build a skills base and confidence, particularly for youth and those trying to get back into the workforce.

“I rarely have staff turnover but I have noticed a rise in mature age job applicants, especially females having trouble re-entering the workforce after having family,” he says.

The workshops will include core hospitality principles including basic service, etiquette and making drinks. Guidance will be offered in how to do a resume, buy work clothes on a budget, and approach a venue when job-hunting. The Lincoln Room will offer a free haircut to those preparing for a job interview.

Having been jobless in his youth, Mr Ortlipp knows what it is like to not have petrol to drive to a job interview: “I want to show people it’s ok, everyone has been there and there are ways around it.”

He plans to approach other venues to encourage them to follow his lead.