For many people, running a café is a chance to fulfil their passion. For the owners of KOM (King of the Mountain) Coffee in South Australia, it was also an opportunity to showcase their love of cycling.
Daniel Valencia Martinez started cyclist-focused KOM Coffee in 2016, with Fernanda Gomez Alvarez joining the team as a barista in 2017 before becoming part owner of the business.
“It’s been hard work, but it’s been amazing,” Fernanda says. “Daniel’s from Colombia and I’m from Chile, so we started to put food from South America in the menu. It’s really the food that people have come to know us for.”
While KOM Coffee had to cut back its menu due to COVID-19 restrictions, it has slowly brought back crowd favourites. This includes the Caldo de Costilla, a beef soup made of ribs boiled in water with slices of potato, garlic, onion, and cilantro leaves.
“It’s been requested for some time now, so we’ve put it back on the menu. It’s a good cure for a hangover and people love it on the weekend after a big night,” Fernanda says.
“The café has connected with the South American community too. We started bringing in frozen food products you can’t usually find here, so people are always really grateful for it. Or, they’ll see an item on the menu they remember growing up.”
Located along the Anzac Highway in Plympton, between the hills and coast, KOM Coffee sees many cyclists pass through first thing from 6am. Then, the morning is filled with tradies and teachers before work, followed by parents after school drop off.
“At the beginning, people thought it was just a café for cyclists, but it’s really for everyone,” Fernanda says. “We have two schools nearby, so a lot of teachers will pre-order on Skip before they go on break and grab their coffee quickly before going back to work.”
All coffee served at the café is grown in Colombia, and since 2019, has been roasted by the KOM Coffee team at their sister business Cafetal Coffee Co.
“People really loved it when we started roasting our own coffee. We can adjust it ourselves and work with different roasting profiles to customise how we want to serve it,” Fernanda says.
“We also changed our dairy milk to a local supplier, so it was like a double improvement straight away.”
KOM Coffee began receiving questions and requests for oat milk around the same time from its health-focused clientele.
“We went to try some different brands and a friend recommended Alternative Dairy Co,” Fernanda says. “It’s become really popular here at the café. Oat has even become more popular than almond and soy recently.”
Coffee is prepared with a three group La Marzocco espresso machine and Mazzer grinder. An additional grinder is used for retail orders, which Fernanda says have boomed since starting Cafetal.
The café also makes cycling jerseys that have been popular take-home items, particular with interstate visitors, whom Fernanda hopes will return soon.
“We’ve had people send us photos of them wearing in our jerseys around Brisbane and Melbourne which we put up in the café,” Fernanda says.
“The cyclists who come in are always really happy to make this their regular coffee stop. Some have been coming for years. It’s good to know they don’t just come here because it’s a ‘cycling café’ but because they love the coffee and food.”
355 Anzac Highway, Plympton, South Australia, 5038
Open Monday to Friday 6am to 2pm, Saturday 7:30am to 2pm, Sunday 8am to 2pm
0490 505 304