Only an hour’s drive from Melbourne, The Mornington Peninsula may seem a world away. But, the sun, surf, sand and freedom are exactly what Tracey Fleming loves about Rosebud.
After working for many years in the hospitality industry, running pubs and working in corporate positions, Tracey decided she needed a change of scenery.
Five years later, Blue Mini Café (BMC) has developed quite a name for itself among locals. Conveniently located across the road from the beach, owner Tracey has created a stylish, relaxed venue with a dedicated team –providing casual food and drinks and a seasonally changing menu for everyone to enjoy.
“It’s modern Australian,” Tracey says. “It’s very simple, with a few twists and turns and we use fresh local ingredients where we can.”
Although situated in a tourist-hotspot, Tracey says 75 per cent of trade is local. “It’s about community and because we open early in morning, we get tradies and lots of business professionals who stop by,” she says.
In a competitive district with 57 food outlets and many cafés popping up in Rosebud and along the Mornington Peninsula, Tracey says people still come from far and wide for their coffee.
“Our philosophy is simple; if the coffee’s not good, don’t serve it,” she says. “We try to make good, consistent coffee that pleases people every time.”
Using freshly ground Map Coffee, the café is what Tracey describes as “straight down the line”. “Coffee is coffee, we don’t brew, we don’t have single origins. We do use Map Napoli coffee which has broad appeal that caters for all crowds and produces a winner every time.”
The coffee is a Napoli Robusta blend, which Tracey describes as having “a good strength, is nice and smooth and goes well in milk-based and espresso drinks”. A fast service window located at the side of the building serves as a great addition, serving coffee to the morning rush of customers. Using two Wega coffee machines, Tracey says these work-horses have a great recovery rate and are very powerful.
BMC serves breakfast until 3pm every day, so whether you’re an early-bird or need a hangover fix after a long sleep-in, experienced Head Chef, Lisa Williams, has you covered. “We produce the best breakfast on the Mornington Peninsula,” Tracey says. for the budget brekkie, there’s the BMC egg and bacon rolls, or for something a bit groovy, try the spanish quesadilla with sour cream and salsa.
Some of the tasty items on the lunch menu include risottos, salt and pepper calamari, fresh salads and shared tapas platters. Nine lunch specials are available daily and change fortnightly. Many cabinet items are also available to suit the hip pocket, including ciabattas, home-made tarts, arancini and gluten-free frittatas.If you’re feeling a little indulgent, try one of Tracey’s handmade cupcakes, made fresh on site.
BMC has a strong community-focus and supports the local high schools by providing work placements. They also run a pilot traineeship program for hospitality and tourism students. Over two years, Tracey has seen four VCAL students doing work at the café once a week, providing them with valuable business experience. “Most staff stay with us from the age of 15 right through to when they go to university,” she says.
On top of their busy daily operations, BMC runs a catering business tailored to corporate functions, events and wedding receptions.
“The Mornington Peninsula is a great place to live, it’s a lifestyle choice, its fantastic and I enjoy what I do,” Tracey says.