It’s 7.30am on a frosty Monday morning, and already a steady stream of clients are making their way to the takeaway window of Form Café. Personalised greetings are exchanged between regulars, and each one proceeds to openly share their appreciate for their new favourite coffee house.
“Best café in the area,” says a customer. “Each morning I make my way here across the suburbs for my coffee, I wouldn’t go anywhere else.”
It’s those positive endorsements that has seen Form Café become a street favourite. Business partners Jason Currie, Sebastian Fincheri, and Robbie Cecchineeli joined forces for this café venture after a long stint at Café Ray in Brunswick. Three years ago Jason moved into the northern suburbs and found a lack of quality cafés in the area. To curb the issue, he came across the vacant Albion St block, which was formerly a milk bar in the 1950s. “Back then the milk bar was a real community hub, so we’ve tried to respect and re-craft that same idea of community and family here within our café,” says Jason.
Inside, Swedish influence is felt from designer Karen Abernethy. A minimalist approach is taken to the open spaces, with clean lines, white walls, timber furnishings, and tree branches hanging from the ceiling. “We wanted to bring a bit of the nearby park into our café,” says Jason.
Form Café uses Campos Coffee’s award-winning Superior Blend. Jason describes this blend as having a solid body with sweet butterscotch, toffee, nuts, and chocolate, lingering mouthfeel and fruity highlights.
“I tried Campos Coffee seven years ago in Sydney and I liked their coffee from the beginning. I also liked the thought process behind their coffees and their commitment to sourcing unique beans. When they moved to Melbourne and set up their roaster, it was perfect timing. I take great comfort in serving Campos,” says Jason. “The Campos team have become more than just coffee suppliers, but good friends.”
While Robbie works his magic touch on the workhorse that is the La Marzocco Linea, pouring rosettas for the wave of customers, the beats of Australian band The Temper Trap provide plenty of toe-tapping action to begin their day.
On the breakfast menu, visitors will find an ode to Jason’s broad spectrum of travel destinations, including Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, and South Korea. Must-try items include the cheese onion squares, a combination of onion and leak braised in white wine and served in an open sandwich with Tasmanian cheddar. Similarly, their beer braised lamb with mint jelly is a hit.
Foam Café serves all their meals on biodegradable, decomposable plates. Just like food scraps, the plates have a 60-day breakdown and turn into gardening compost within 12 months. “This removes for the need for a dishwater, and we save 600 litres of water each year,” says Jason. “If more cafés could adopt this approach to their business, they’d save a lot of money and the environment would be better off.”
Future plans will see Form Café expand to include an outdoor alfresco area and a liquor license. In the meantime, the café attracts local residents, school traffic and local businesses during the weekends.
“I’m loving how this café is integrating into the local community and into people’s everyday lives,” says Jason.