Our Story

From Humble Beginnings...

John Cafferatta is passionate about helping others. With a background in Hospitality, Retail and Vocational Education and Training (VET); John provided years of training for people in the jail system, disengaged youth in high schools and other at-risk communities such as early migrants.

John researched for a way to help more people and naturally came across Social Entrepreneurship which aligned with his values. After several years working for TAFE NSW and assisting with the setup of William Angliss Coffee Academy in Sydney, John identified a major gap between Social Justice, Industry and VET and followed his passion for coffee to create a vehicle to bridge the three as a Social Enterprise and Darcy Street Project was born.

Darcy Street Project prides itself on providing a warm and hospitable atmosphere where people can come to enjoy great coffee with new friends. A cup of coffee is the end of a long journey; from the land, to the farmer, to the roaster, to the barista, and finally to your eagerly waiting hands. Each step is important and it gives the beans their own distinct character, flavour and taste experience. ​

Whether it's helping break the cycle of homelessness, connecting communities, assisting refugees or inspiring young people to go after something more, we wanted to help make the future a better place. And, what better way than to share a cup of coffee with friends and start a conversation.

By creating an inclusive and safe environment we allow students from all backgrounds to feel comfortable speaking up and engaging with customers. Passing on our passion for coffee and the customer experience is just one of the motivating forces behind what we do.

We are so proud of those students who we have been able to employ in running the brew bar and also begin their journey in becoming trainer's to the next crop of barista students.

Our History

2012- 2013

DSP Origins

John is truly a sincere coffee lover and enthusiast with over 20 years of Hospitality experience and 7 years in Specialty Coffee. Setting up a coffee lab in his garage that included a commercial 1kg drum roaster and dozens of specialty coffee sacks on pallets. John would visit dozens of cafes Sydney-wide to benchmark his coffee against the best. 

The knowledge gained was enough to apply for a small grant of $10,000 through Parramatta Council to begin Sydney's first Specialty Coffee Social Enterprise.


Darcy St Project.



Straight Outta Parramatta

DSP began with several pop-up coffee roasting demos and coffee carts while the shop was being fitted out. In 2014 DSP opened at 24 Darcy Street as a coffee school by day and brew bar by night concept. That didn't last long because no-body wanted to be in Parramatta at night back then (unless you were strapped with yellow pages across your vital organs) so DSP quickly re-invented the concept to open as a true coffee house with no food, just coffee roasted, brewed, taught and shared onsite. DSP even hand made bio-degradable coffee pods using in-house roasted coffees. DSP introduced Pay it forwards, discounts for re-useable cups and regular public cuppings and tastings. 

It was beautiful.


DSP 2.0

In 2015 DSP were booted out of Darcy Street and re-located to the most ghetto part of Parramatta CBD. Losing 50% space, prime exposure and housed inside a carpark, DSP continued to roast, teach, brew and share coffees onsite and created a new fan base from scratch. To offset the losses in revenue DSP started pop-up coffee schools around NSW through dozens of community and not for profit organisations. DSP also participated in hundreds of events, conferences, festivals, and hackathons by providing coffee cart services. DSP were successful in receiving one off grants from ING Dream Starter, Parramatta Community grants and The Premier of NSW to assist with a solar powered coffee brew cart, which operated in the 2017 Investing 4 Good conference and Purpose 2018. DSP expanded into 197 Pitt Street Mall in early 2018 by entering a Tripartite agreement with Suncorp and Wesley Mission. Our first formal partnership and not our last.

2019- 2020


In 2019, we opened our first re-usable cup only Café in Macquarie Street, Parramatta, banning single use cups was driven by our desire to improve the our environment and daily habits of consumers. 

At the same time we began our new Project in Liverpool, funded by the Moorebank Intermodal Company we set out to establish a new multi-purpose hospitality facility in the industrial area of Moorebank. This project has allowed DSP to focus on "Food Insecurity" in Australia as an important part of improving employment, health and well-being outcomes. DSP are introducing an "Ideas Kitchen" and Low and Slow BBQ School for at risk youth in South West Sydney very soon. 

In June 2020 Darcy St Project will be partnering with Frasers Property to open our first "Food Secure Café" and social catering project as part of the major Ivanhoe Project in Macquarie Park.   

Good Coffee

Doing Good



  • White Instagram Icon
  • White Facebook Icon

©2020 Darcy St Project . Proudly a Social Enterprise since 2014