When the COVID-19 pandemic swept through Australia, Rick Everett, a performing artist based in Sydney, felt compelled to lend a helping hand to those facing tough times. From his home, he brainstormed ways to make a difference.

Initially offering to run errands or do shopping for others on Facebook, Everett’s offers went unanswered. But then, inspiration struck as he stood in his kitchen, staring out the window.

“I realized I had a kitchen window facing the street and a coffee machine,” Everett recalled.

Thus, Rick’s street side café was born—a simple yet heartfelt gesture to uplift his community.

With a sign reading “Free coffee and complimentary chats” beneath the window, and a bell for neighbours and passers-by to ring, the café quickly became a local sensation.

“The response has been truly heart-warming,” Everett shared. “I’ve connected with neighbours I’ve never even seen before, which is quite common in Sydney.”

While Everett serves about six or seven coffees daily, he finds that more people stop by for a chat than for coffee. And in a beautiful display of reciprocity, neighbours have begun showing their appreciation in various ways—from bringing cakes to leaving surprise gifts like beer or cash in his letterbox.


Despite facing his own challenges after losing much of his work in the entertainment industry, Everett is committed to giving back.

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