Joe Frank

Joe Frank

From those who founded cafés Santucci’s, Mr Tucci, and Son of Tucci, Joe Frank is a family-run café in Ashburton, named after the co-owners’ Massimo and Fabian’s father, Joe, and grandfather, Frank.

Mostly catering to young families and an older crowd, Joe Frank has a sunny aspect with windows facing a bike track in tree-lined suburbia, luring commuters into the open plan space with the natural light in the morning.

Through a family with hospitality in its blood, brothers and owners Massimo and Fabian Crea were exposed to coffee from a young age, “We fell in love with coffee when our grandma made us cappuccinos at a very young age at the family hotel in Lake’s Entrance,” says Massimo.

“We also grew up on moka pot coffee, which is a very traditional way of drinking coffee but it’s still a favourite for us. Family would gather and chat around a mokapot, and it forever reminds me of special times together. This has all translated to an ongoing love for the beverage and Joe Frank’s mokapot logo.”

Although the café works off a more modern method with its La Marzocco KB90 and Mahlkonig E65 and EK43 grinders, partnering with Veneziano Coffee Roasters has ensured the family’s passion for coffee endures.

“We serve Veneziano’s Soar as our house blend. It’s always been interesting learning about the profile change with every season depending on the beans that they source. Customers notice the change, but always in a good way. It creates awareness and great discussion with our customers about origin,” Massimo says.

“It’s always got depth, vibrancy and a fruit forward note to it. As the temperature slightly cools, the flavour notes become more apparent. It’s definitely not your typical chocolate and nut.”

Massimo says the coffee also pairs well with Joe Frank’s honest, homestyle food – particularly Mrs Crea’s New York baked cheesecake.

“Mum’s the one that makes [the café] niche with her homemade cakes. They’re really simple, but the quality of ingredients makes them what they are. Her recipes are also very unique in a typical Italian fashion,” Massimo says.

As a family business in a family-oriented suburb, the locals treat Joe Frank like home too.

“The most rewarding part of working at the café is definitely the lifelong friends we’ve made in terms of staff and customers,” Massimo says.

 Joe Frank

246 High St, Ashburton, Victoria, 3147

Open Monday to Friday 7am – 3:30pm, weekends from 8am – 3pm

(03) 9193 0169

This article appears in the February 2023 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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