Ashfield Apothecary

Ashfield Apothecary

Tucked away in the charming Sydney suburb of Ashfield is the Ashfield Apothecary, a specialty café featuring rotating beans from international and local roasters alike. 

Founded by Mandeep Bhusal in 2019, he says the venue is based on educating people, building connections, and expanding Sydney’s specialty coffee scene.

“When people want a coffee, they’ll automatically think to go to the city, but we’re working to change this idea and really bridge this gap in Sydney’s coffee scene,” says Mandeep. “We want to prove that suburban areas like Ashfield really do offer great specialty coffee.”  

Housed in a 40-square-metre heritage building, Ashfield Apothecary has a quaint appearance with natural light spilling into the white-walled space.

“I saw this venue while I was driving by and just had to come back to check it out,” says Mandeep. “When I opened the door, I just fell in love with the place. It completely fits what I wanted as I’ve always run big venues in the past.” 

Having worked in the hospitality industry for more than a decade, Mandeep has managed and grown a number of Sydney’s well-known cafés and spent time working as a chef in a two-hat restaurant in Sydney.

“During this time, I realised I loved food, drinking, and cooking, and the connections you make in hospitality, and I knew I wanted to create a place like that,” he says. “I feel like I’ve used all this experience and knowledge to create the Ashfield Apothecary which is like a one-stop shop for amazing coffee flavours and is always exciting.” 

At the Ashfield Apothecary, a different international roaster is featured every two months with previous roasters coming from the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, and more.

“With all our international roasters, there’s no middleman. These roasters buy direct from the producers which means we know they’re being treated fairly,” says Mandeep. “This means for us, when we sell an international roaster, we don’t even make money sometimes, but it’s about knowing why you want to offer this service.” 

This ties in with Mandeep’s principles to source and support sustainably. 

“For us it’s not about money, it’s about providing this platform, and part of that is making sure what you are being ethical, and that the farmers are being paid right,” he says. “We also try to source everything locally, including for our menu, which feature three set café favourites and three rotating menu items inspired by seasonal and local produce.” 

This includes items such as the Apothecary Bowl which features native bush spice cured salmon with lemon myrtle, wattle seed, organic soba noodles, edamame, avocado, finger lime, and white soy dressing, or the vegan friendly date and rolled oats bircher with coconut yogurt, home-made maple roasted granola, macerated strawberries, pink lady apple, and strawberry powder.

Ashfield Apothecary also offers a host of rotating national roasters including New Paradigm, Floozy, Market Lane, Small Batch Coffee Roasters, Wood and Co, with Single O supplying the venue’s house blend.

“I’ve always worked with them and we’ve really built a strong relationship with them over the years,” says Mandeep. “They were the only brand I asked for when I started this café, and they jumped on board straight away and were super supportive.” 

Mandeep says this connection across borders, within cafés and roasters, and from barista to consumer, is a pillar in Ashfield Apothecary.

“We’re all about building these types of long-term relationships and giving people the opportunity to share their specialty coffee, and for consumers, a chance to try different varieties,” he says.

With Mandeep excited to continue growing and trying new roasters, he says he is proud of the space he has created — his second home away from home — and his team for helping to create the café he’s always envisioned.  

Ashfield Apothecary
19 Charlotte Street

Ashfield, New South Wales, 2131
Open Monday to Friday 7am to 3pm, Saturday 7am to 2pm

This article appears in the February 2022 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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