Kona Café

Kona Café

After 14 years in the café industry, Erika Ding was ready to walk away and start a new career path when a too-good-to-miss opportunity presented itself.

“I got a call about a property opening up in Applecross,” says Erika. “I wasn’t planning on getting back into the café scene, but it was just too good to pass up.”

Soon after acquiring the space in early 2024, Erika and her business partner and cousin, Florence Sukmono, opened Kona Café. It was the first time she had run her own café without the umbrella of a franchise over her head, which meant she had the freedom to choose her own equipment, design, and, most importantly, beans.

“I tried around eight different roasters before eventually going with Locale Coffee Roasters,” she says. “What impressed me about them was their support and customer service. They even invited me to their headquarters for a tasting.”

Erika says Locale’s range of coffee blends was also a contributing factor to her decision, finally deciding on Original Gangsta as Kona’s house blend for milk-based drinks and The Real MVP blend for black coffee.

While still in its infancy, Erika says Kona has been embraced by the local community, with its opening weekend being one of the busiest shifts she’s experienced in her hospitality career. This included a visit from former Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan, which Erika says was an unexpected but exciting moment for the café.

The café’s location in the busy heart of Applecross has contributed to its popularity, according to Erika.

“People love to take pictures here, whether it be because of the coffee, food, or decor,” she says.

Erika credits her team, including Florence and Consulting Chef Josh Chen, for the café’s first few months of smooth sailing.

“It feels like we’ve been in business together for years,” she says. “We all know how to work well together, and it’s been a joy to be a part of.”

Kona Café

15 Riseley Street, Applecross, Perth, Western Australia, 6153

Open Monday, Wednesday to Sunday 7am to 3pm

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