New Byron cafe is heaven sent

YUMMO: Manager of the new Manna Haven in Byron Bay, Anita Carvill.
YUMMO: Manager of the new Manna Haven in Byron Bay, Anita Carvill. Jann Burmester

IF YOU love God, people and good food, then a new cafe in Byron Bay should send your spirits soaring.

Manna Haven is a not-for-profit vegetarian cafe which has recently opened in Jonson St.

The cafe is a Seventh Day Adventist Church project, operating in a purpose-built extension off the church's worship centre.

It plans to donate all profits to local and international charities.

Work on the entire project, from the labour down to the chairs and crockery, was donated by church and community members.

Manager Anita Carvill said it would help keep prices reasonable, while at the same time contributing money to good causes.

"The whole idea here is just to serve and give back to the community," she said.

"It's easy to talk about and have all the right clichés about God's love, but where the rubber meets the road is how you serve people."

Anita, who has a Masters degree in nutrition, is passionate about eating good, healthy food as well as giving back to the community.

The busy mother of two young boys said her inspiration for the charity cafe came three years ago when the church would stage weekly charity dinners which would attract up to 300 people.

"It started out as a healthy vegetarian meal for people down on their luck, but in the end a wide cross-section of the community joined in, giving a donation to enjoy the food and communal atmosphere," she said.

Anita admitted it had been a hard road on a shoestring budget, but she couldn't let the dream die.

"I've had a fire in my belly. I feel like it's a bit of a calling," she said.

Manna Haven is open from 8am-4pm Sunday to Thursday.

Mention this story and receive a free small drink.

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