PlANNING FOR 2019
Words by Daniel Lim
As we break for the holidays, we are not just spending time at the beach or on a holiday destination somewhere, but we are also spending time in the kitchen – planning and formulating new ideas for the new year.
Time is a wonderful privilege to us that is worth more than money, and we are taking this time to get better at what we do, and to provide you (our friends/customers) the best experience that we can.
2018 was such a wonderful year that consisted of serving lots of good food and good coffee, that this year (2019) comes with its own set of challenges and pressure to be even better.
That sense of pressure to grow posses its own set of challenges. But it is a good sense of pressure – a pressure to grow and to get better.
We’ve always believed that if we don’t grow, we stagnate, and we get comfortable… which will cause us to coast, and eventually, we would loose all sense of the reality of time, and become a fossil. That is why we have set time aside to reset, recalibrate, to train, and to think outside our comfort zones.
We’ve developed a new menu, one that is slightly different from the last, but at the same time one that we believe to be a better showcase what we can do with a sense of healthy restraint at the same time. The menu is not fancy or presumptuous, it doesn’t scream “look at us and what we can do”, but instead it is one that is closer to home, an honest refection of what we believe to be a balance between health and taste.
Our coffee offerings has grown and matured too. We chosen to highlight and champion local roasters because we believe in what they are trying to accomplish. It’s a hard industry to sink one’s teeth into, and it poses a real challenge to smaller roasters who are trying to accomplish excellence, whilst trying to balance their chequebooks. That is why we’ve chosen to strictly buy from Perth roasters only.
We’ve also chosen to focus on coffee growing regions of the world, and that is why we’ve also strictly focused on serving up Single Origin Coffees (at no extra charge). We believe in sourcing great coffee from amazing farmers and co-ops around the world. We want our coffee to have the maximum amount of traceability, thus shortening the gap between farmer, roaster and the consumer.
We don’t use “blends'‘, because we know that good coffee blends consist of a few good single origin coffees. This is not to say that blends are no good (for I’ve had the privilege of sampling many good blends), but to say that we want to focus on individual farms and highlight their life work. We want to slow down, and enjoy what we know to be good coffee and to expand our consciousness of the good that is going on in the world. Our desire is that this would translate into your experience as our customers too.
In 2019, we also want to bridge the gap between barista and the customer as well, and that is why we are inviting you to approach us when we are not too busy at the cafe, to learn more about where our coffee comes from, and to perhaps even pull a few espresso shots for yourself. We believe that we are all a part of the coffee culture here in Perth, and that we as the consumers have a part to play in making Perth the Cafe capital of the world (this may be wishful thinking, but hey; we all need to have dreams).
Above all, we hope that 2019 will be even a better year than 2018 in every single way possible. Cheers and much love from us to you!
159 Claisebrook Road
Perth, WA, 6000
7 December 2018
Words by Daniel Lim
Location is everything?
Looking at the current landscape of the cafe industry, there are two main paths that a cafe owner could go down in terms of finding a location: a) somewhere already established or, b) somewhere in a relatively new and upcoming area. Each choice would have its own set of unique challenges. One needs to take many things into consideration, but one of the first would be the age old question of rent vs patronage.
In an established area, foot traffic may be higher, but so is rent. In an upcoming area, rent may be lower, but so is foot traffic. A potential cafe owner will have to consider these options and weigh them out considerably, before making a decision. I can’t stress how important this process is, as many cafes and restaurants go under because of rent.
The third option (and one that takes the most consideration) is to find an area where nothing is yet established, with no foot traffic, and rent is low – and do everything you can to make that cafe a destination. Which is perhaps easier said than done; which I think makes this option the riskiest, but also the most rewarding.
I was always looking for a location that would fit the third option best. When we decided, I knew that we would have to establish the cafe as a destination - and to do that as soon as possible, otherwise it would be fail to gain momentum fast enough.
To do so, one could do a few things, which normally includes creating a good concept that is unique/never been done before to draw people in. It’s hard enough to draw people in from the street, but even harder still to get people to make the trip out to you.
Because there wasn’t really anything else around, I felt that we could really define who we were without having to follow what others were doing. We designed a menu with the philosophy of cooking only what we would want to eat ourselves. The results were a slightly familiar menu, with many plates that evoked a sense of nostalgia/memories of our childhood and our travels.
Space wise, we put together a cafe that only had the bare essentials to pull of what we set our coffee and food menu to be like. We were also a tiny cafe, with only 9 two person tables, with a tiny kitchen, and because we had less equipment, I felt that we could buy the best that we could find. Minimalism at its best.
Another pulling point would be our midweek dining experience, where I would formulate a 5 course changing menu at affordable price points, to use what would be a static space at night after the cafe closed. This would soon prove to be so popular, that we would fill up all our available spots every night that we were open.
And so, with probably a few hundred hours of planning, plus a few hundred hours of setting up the cafe, we opened on the 7th of November 2017. I was fairly confident that we would do well; but at the same time, healthily possessed a sense that we could also fail. Only time would tell.
7 December 2018
Words by Daniel Lim