Good Neighbours Café is, as its name suggests, a reliable, friendly addition to the Balwyn North community, and the sort of neighbour you’d be happy to rely on for a bit of milk, or in this case, coffee and top-notch food.
Owner Jessie Yun and her business partner Dowan Kang started their first café venture together in July and want it to become a meeting place for teachers, parents, senior citizens and morning gym junkies in the area.
“Everyone is welcome,” Jessie says.
“We want people to become excited about seeing their friends and to have the room filled with laughter and chatter.”
Jessie got her wish on Father’s Day when each of the café’s 40 seats was filled.
Jessie worked at Melbourne’s Son of Tucci café for two and a half years before deciding it was time to branch out. She moved into a former Italian restaurant of 40 years and changed “everything” to reflect an open, bright and welcoming environment. Light fixtures illuminate the words “good coffee” and chrome pendant lights create a fun touch among the white walls and wooden frames.
A matching, white Victoria Arduino Mythos One grinder and three-group La Marzocco PB fill the benchtop, with Veneziano’s Bond Street blend running through its spouts. The blend is 70 per cent washed Caturra and Castillo beans from San Fernando in Colombia, and 30 per cent mixed Heirloom Ethiopian Wonberta.
“It’s delicious mix of toffee, cantaloupe, cherry and orange notes,” Jessie says. “I worked with Veneziano at my former venue and I just love its coffee and service. When we first started [Veneziano Victoria State Sales Manager] Jamie Thomson and [Veneziano Business Development Manager] Nick Andonopoulos came in every week to see how we were going. That level of support is so important.”
On batch brew at time of print was a Kenya Gathiruini, a washed SL28 and SL34 varietal, and single origins suited to cold drip and V60 Pour Over.
The breakfast and lunch menu features all the café classics, with touches of Jessie’s Korean heritage, such as the Waffle Benedict with mixed mushroom, grilled okra, slow-braised smoked ham hock, gochujang hollandaise, coriander and poached eggs.
Jessie has future goals to extend the cafés open hours with a cocktail menu, but for now, she’s content on doing what she loves most – making good coffee.
This article was written by Beanscene and published in their September 2017 issue.
Location: 335 Balwyn Rd, Balwyn North VIC 3104
Hours: Monday – Friday 7am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday 8am to 3pm
Coffee: Veneziano Coffee Roasters – Bond St Blend