Café Beetroot

Café Beetroot

Hyunjeong (Bella) Yu and husband Wonjin Kong dreamt of opening their own café for years until their dream was finally realised in 2022 when they established Café Beetroot in Greenway, Canberra.

The café’s unique name was the result of an observation Wonjin made at home.

“One day, Wonjin was cooking with beetroot and was annoyed by how its bold colour spread to all the other ingredients,” Bella explains.

“We thought beetroot would make the perfect name for our café as that’s what we want to achieve: we want our customers to feel and absorb our colour and personality, and have it remain with them throughout their day.”

Bella looked to former employer Veneziano Coffee Roasters for help when setting up the café.

“I was really impressed by the Veneziano team’s management skills and professionalism, as well as how generous they were with their time,” she says.

“Once we opened the café, it was clear they really cared as they checked in on us regularly.”

After a lengthy selection process, it was the Victorian roaster’s Crave blend that Bella, Café Beetroot’s barista, and Wonjin chose to serve at the café. Bella says it won them over with its dark chocolate and nutty flavours.

During the first couple of months in business, they were particularly impressed by Veneziano’s attention to detail.

“The team roast consistently high-quality coffee beans, which our customers love,” she says.

The couple are keen to represent both their Korean heritage and current location in Canberra. As a result, the drinks menu blends Asian and Western flavours.

“We have typical menu items such as English breakfast tea and chai latte, but we also offer yuzu tea and matcha latte,” says Bella.

This fusion of cultures also extends to the food menu, which Wonjin oversees as Head Chef and Co-owner of the venue.

“We have classic Aussie dishes such as bacon and egg rolls and smashed avocado on sourdough, but we also have more inventive options such as kimchi scramble and gochujang pork tacos,” Bella says.

At first, Bella and Wonjin were nervous about serving the gochujang pork as it was quite different from the local offering, but it quickly became a hit and is now one of the café’s signature dishes.

Bella says running the café is exhausting but exciting: “When our customers are happy with the coffee and food, we get a lot of energy from them.

“Meeting new people is one of the best bits about running a café, and our customers often become our friends.”

Café Beetroot

281/311 Anketell Street Greenway, Australian Capital Teritory, 2900

Open Monday to Friday 7am to 2:30pm, Saturday 7am to 2pm

This article appears in the April 2024 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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