Yoga Place Blacksmiths

The Yoga Place Blacksmiths

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

Batch Espresso

Batch Espresso

With two successful venues in the Sydney CBD and more than 15 years’ experience under his belt, Batch Espresso Owner David Smith and wife Nok wanted to try something new when they opened their third location.

“We’ve got much more of a specialty coffee focus at the new Clarence Street café, with a lot of varietals and single origins on the menu,” David says. “Our York Street venue has a nice 20-seat dining area and full kitchen, and Pitt Street – my first location – is by a train station and busy five-way intersection, so it serves a lot of takeaway coffees. Read more

Docs Corowa

Docs Corowa

At only 20 years of age, Jack Schilg was excited to bring something new to the Corowa coffee scene when he took over Doc Yarrum Café a year and a half ago.

“I wanted to put a fresh modern café spin on it,” Jack says. “We’ve just finished pretty extensive renovations with some new architects in town. The new Docs has a contemporary feel to it, and the exterior looks really nice and inviting.” Read more

Byron Fresh

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In 2004, hospitality veteran Markus Hofer took over Byron Fresh, a café located just 50 metres from the beach in Byron Bay.

Byron Fresh first appeared on Markus’s radar while scouting locations for a previous employer.

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Urban Artisans

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After 25 years working behind the scenes in the hospitality industry in financial advisory roles and a lifetime of travelling the world for good food and coffee, Roupinah Simonian jumped at the opportunity to open a café of her own with friend, experienced restaurateur Lisa Dolores.

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Son of a baker

Son of a Baker

Located in Botany Bay with a waterside view, Son of a Baker’s Co-owners watch the sunrise every day as they craft delicious handmade pastries.

Marcus Gorge, former Owner of Local MBassy in Ultimo and Chimichurri in Chatswood, partnered with an actual baker’s son, Roman Urosevski, to launch Son of a Baker earlier this year.

“People are constantly looking to try something new,” Marcus says. “I like to use ingredients everyone is familiar with but with a twist of my own.” Read more

Ona Coffee Marrickville

Opening day of Ona Coffee Marrickville was a celebration of the Canberra-based roaster’s foray into the Sydney market, or any market outside of the Australian Capital Territory for that matter. 

The doors to the newly developed space were wide open and guests flooding through the door were a combination of the industry’s top influences, baristas, roasters, locals who had heard about ‘the new kid on the block’, and some four-legged friends bathing in the morning sun while eyeing off a tray of donuts on the bench. Read more

Little Giant Roasters

Opened in June 2016, Little Giant Roasters is owned and run by husband and wife duo, Michael and Vivian Chen. 

Previously, they had owned a café in Melbourne for five years and spent time living in Hobart. Ready for a new challenge, they made the decision to move to Sydney and came across their next business venture, taking over Little Giant Roasters in December 2017. Read more

Batch 383

Lobby cafés can have a reputation for being basement fillers, but not Batch 383 – it’s the foundation to adjoining businesses and the one retreat customers can rely on for a quality coffee and an escape among the concrete jungle.

Co-owners Jayden Rommeni and Mouhamad “Mo” Elbadar joined forces in October 2017 to create the office retreat and give office workers a reason to come down the elevators and take a seat at their ground-floor café. 

“Generally, everyone in the building goes across the road to get a coffee, and everyone across the road comes to us. Most people want to get out of their building for a break, but we’re trying to keep them in,” Mo says. 

Mo is no stranger to hospitality. For years he worked as a fruit and vegetable supplier and Jayden spent the past six years helping set up 54 Soul Origin stores in New South Wales. 

Their focus now is on producing a memorable café experience for their customers. To create a point of difference, the pair have done a great job pumping out consistent coffee, and presenting Instagram-worthy food at a great price point. After all, Mo says, “everyone eats with their eyes”.

“Who we are is how we stand out,” he says. “We give extra service and form relationships with our regular customers. We have their coffee ready before they come to the counter.”

The menu is a twist on cultures – Middle Eastern and Australian influences thanks to Jayden and Mo’s heritages. An on-site baker fills the café with the fresh aroma of homemade gluten-free sourdough, while an all-day breakfast means breakfast bagels are a favourite all day long. Come lunch time and salads are a crowd favourite. Try the duck salad, crispy chicken salad, or an eye fillet steak sandwich. 

Coffee is the café’s biggest seller. It serves Campos Coffee’s Superior blend and runs a rotating list of single origins on the shop’s two Sp9 Marco filters built into the counter top. Memorable favourites include beans from Peru and Tanzania, Campos’ Blade Runner Blend, and the 2017 Burundi Cup of Excellence winner.

“We’ve put a lot of attention into our coffee range because this part of town was lacking in a good coffee experience,” Mo says. “The response we’ve had has been incredible. We have customers lining up at the door before we’re even open.” 

Mo says the previous café owner sold between 50 to 55 kilograms of coffee a week, and since taking over the site, Batch 383 has upped the volume to 80 kilograms per week. 

“Where the café was to where it is now is a total 360-degree change,” Mo says.

“Campos has been there every step of the way. They talked us through the initial start-up process and helped us with our machines (two La Marzocco three groups, an FB0 two group, Mahlkonig EK grinder). They’ve just been amazing. We have a great relationship,” Jayden says. 

Each shot is weighed and customers are encouraged to try new things, such as coffee of the month, a different single origin or a retail bag to try at home. If that’s not enticing, Batch 383’s word of the week is: coffeegasm (noun) – that little rush you feel after that first sip of good strong coffee. 

To try that rush, Batch 383 is ready and waiting with open arms.

Batch 383

383 Kent St, Sydney,

New South Wales, 2000

Open Monday to Friday 6am to 4.30pm

(02) 9262 1717



333 George St, Sydney,

New South Wales, 2000

Open Monday to Friday 7am to 4pm

If anyone puts a challenge to Zach Hiotis, be prepared for him to tackle it head-on and succeed. Read more

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