Q & A with Ladro's Sean Kierce Monday 21 September 2020 Legendary Ladro owners Sean Kierce and Ingrid Langtry have been on board the Scarf train since 2011 when they began supplying staff meals for some of our programs and loaning us their Gertrude St digs for trainee interviews. This time last year, we ran a couple of fantastic Pop-Up Scarf Dinners at Ladro as part of our Tasting Plate in the Inner North program (in partnership with Inner North Community Foundation). We recently chatted with Ladro's Sean Kierce to find out more about the awesomeness Ladro is doing in the local community, and how Melbourne's second lockdown has impacted their business. . Scarf: Tell us about the community projects Ladro supports? Sean: Ladro has always supported community and charities. Over the years we've been involved with and continue to support St Vincents Soup Van, Prahran Mission, Scarf and Street Smart. Currently we're receiving funding via a very smart StreetSmart initiative called SmartMeals. SmartMeals provides funding for restaurants and cafes to produce meals to assist the support of overstretched homeless and community groups. It also helps our restaurant to maintain employment for our staff who don't receive any government support. Currently Ladro is producing 400 meals per week for St Mary's House of Welcome on Brunswick St. It's been a life saver for Ladro Gertude. We ran Scarf Dinners with you this time last year, and you’ve helped us out with training, donated prizes for fundraisers, and heaps of other things over the years. Why does Ladro support Scarf? Scarf plays an important role in supporting and training vulnerable young people in the hospitality space. Without Scarf many of these people will fall through the cracks. Many Scarf graduates have gone on to play significant roles in hospitality and other industries. By supporting Scarf, Ladro is helping the development of young people who need some support. We're supporting our community. By supporting Scarf, Ladro is helping the development of young people who need some support. We're supporting our community. How has lockdown 2.0 impacted Ladro and your teams? Our staff have been fabulous, supportive and understanding. Our managers have insisted we keep supporting our staff who don't qualify for government support. We've been able to offer some regular hours and food parcels when required. It's been tough for our staff as there is so much uncertainty. In the early days things were changing very rapidly, they needed to adapt quickly along with the business. Why is it more important than ever that the general public support Melbourne hospitality businesses? Melbournians must continue to support their local independent hospitality businesses. Without us we lose so much of what Melbourne is. Melbourne hospitality supports the public with a varied offer not matched anywhere else in Australia. It directly supports many other industries such as farmers and the food supply chain, the energy industry, the tea towel and linen laundries, grape growers, wine makers, brewers, hops farmers, dairies, soft drink makers, landlords… So many small and larger businesses. Melbourne hospitality also supports employees. Not just locals but also immigrants and refugees, international travellers and students. These are the people who give Melbourne the variation in our celebrated food culture. They bring the colour and the new ideas. Melbourne hospitality also supports employees. Not just locals but also immigrants and refugees, international travellers and students. [They] give Melbourne the variation in our celebrated food culture. They bring the colour and the new ideas. What is Ladro currently offering (now and in the near future)? Currently Ladro is offering a slightly smaller take-away menu with pizza and pasta the heroes. We've also added a line of house made 'heat at home' items such as fresh pasta and sauces available through the Ladro Supermarket. Our liquor licence has been extended to allow us to sell take-away alcohol and we're selling cocktails, beer and wine too. On special occasion weekends such as Easter. Mothers Day and Fathers Day we’ve been offering special 'heat at home' food boxes. Melbournians must continue to support their local independent hospitality businesses. Without us we lose so much of what Melbourne is. . . Follow Ladro on instagram to stay across their latest news and delicious offerings.