While travelling overseas, Brooke Simpson and her husband Ben were inspired by feloow travellers to open a plant-based café adjacent to their yoga studio.
After developing their yoga studio – with classes running seven days a week – two-and-a-half years ago in Newcastle, New South Wales, Brooke says she never thought she would be opening a café so soon.
“We had all this space next to our studio and the people we met travelling really helped us set up and gave us all this advice,” Brooke says. “We’d talked about opening a café, but we always wanted to do it when our children were a bit older. However, it seemed like the right time to get the ball rolling.”
At the time of print, the Yoga Place Blacksmiths had been open for several weeks and Brooke says the response has been overwhelming.
“Everything has been really positive especially around the coffee. We use coffee from Syndicate Coffee from Melbourne. As a NSW business, people would expect us to use coffee from local suppliers, so this really sets us apart,” Brooke says. “It’s been a real crowd pleaser to use coffee from Melbourne as the city is known for its coffee and culture.”
The Yoga Place uses Syndicate Coffee’s King Pin sustainable espresso blend, which it serves on a three-group La Marzocco machine.
Brooke says part of the appeal of Syndicate Coffee is down to its approach to sustainability.
“Coffee and food come with a lot of packaging and we want to have a low environmental impact. Through Syndicate Coffee, everything is compostable,” Brooke says.
She adds that one of her goals in opening the café was to share her passion for plant-based foods, which is reflected on the menu, including an open vegetarian burger, smoothie bowls, and nacho bowls.
“Serving plant-based food is quite unusual for our area, but we wanted to create a place where, after class, visitors can enjoy some really wholesome food that’s good for you,” Brooke says.
“We’re seeing a lot of families just come to have lunch as opposed to visitors who have just finished a class. You’ll be surprised to see how many people just want to visit and see an open garden and drink coffee.
“It gets quite emotional looking out into the garden and seeing people eating good wholesome food that’s good for their bodies. It’s really amazing.”
The Yoga Place Blacksmiths
6 Mitt Street, Blacksmiths, New South Wales, 2281
Open Tuesday to Saturday 8am to 2pm
0405 279 133