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Lentil as Anything gets a pay it back boost


19 August 2020 at 8:34 pm
Maggie Coggan
“The community support this group provides is invaluable and we would not be here today if it wasn’t for them,” the owner of Sydney restaurant Arepa Oz says. 


Maggie Coggan | 19 August 2020 at 8:34 pm


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Lentil as Anything gets a pay it back boost
19 August 2020 at 8:34 pm

“The community support this group provides is invaluable and we would not be here today if it wasn’t for them,” the owner of Sydney restaurant Arepa Oz says. 

When Andres Rodriguez and his business partner Kysbel Castellanos were left high and dry in the middle of building their dream restaurant two years ago, finding the money for food became an everyday struggle. 

The pair lost over $40,000 after a tradesmen did a runner in the middle of building their (now successful) Sydney restaurant, Arepa Oz.  

“It was disheartening to go through such an experience,” Rodriguez said.  

“We were starting the construction of our restaurant when everything suddenly changed, and we found ourselves in the terrible position of needing to pay rent and for the equipment but with no means to do so.” 

With little money to their names, they turned to social enterprise Lentil as Anything, which serves up hearty vegetarian food on a “pay as you feel” basis. 

Now, Rodriguez and Castellanos are paying it back, donating 400 of their restaurant’s signature menu item, the arepa, to Lentil as Anything Newtown. 

“The community support this group provides is invaluable and we would not be here today if it wasn’t for them,” Rodriguez said. 

Arepa kitchen staff will also donate their time, teaching the Lentil as Anything team how to make the dish. 

Sophia Clifton, Lentil as Anything Newtown’s restaurant manager, said the pandemic has had a significant impact on the group’s income and that the donation would go a long way to helping them recover.

“Our organisation is about helping out everyone and anyone, no matter their background or situation, and during this crazy time, we’re seeing more and more people in need,” Clifton said. 

“We know this donation will put healthy, nutritious and satisfying food in the stomachs of those who are struggling during this pandemic, while opening up our community to the diversity in cuisine in our area.”

Arepa will provide 100 arepas every Monday from 24 August to 14 September.


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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