Ona Coffee Melbourne, the long-anticipated flagship store of the specialty coffee roaster, is officially opening its doors on Thursday, 11 June.
Having delayed its opening by several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ona Coffee Melbourne at 22 Ovens Street, Brunswick will offer both dine-in service and takeaway, beginning with a maximum of 20 patrons inside and adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Designed by Breathe Architecture, the venue features up to 110 seats inside, a deck for outdoor seating and waiting area, a filter experience bar, open plan kitchen, extended retail displays, and a training room in the upstairs loft.
Two-time Australian Brewers Cup Champion Devin Loong will manage Ona Coffee Melbourne alongside Three Poplars Consulting, which oversees Ona Coffee’s retail venues across the country. General Manager of Three Poplars Consulting, Caity Reynolds, says the decision to delay the opening date was made to protect the community.
“This has been a long time coming and we’ve been really excited to open,” says Caity.
“However, we wanted to make sure we weren’t opening at a time when people were feeling uncertain about visiting cafés. We’re confident now that we can open our doors and offer the Melbourne community the best and safest experience possible.”
Following in the style of the roaster’s other venues in Canberra and Sydney, Ona Coffee Melbourne will offer a range of Ona Coffee’s house blends and rotating single origins on a menu focusing on flavour and origin.
“The format of how we serve our coffees is a little bit different to what people may be used to, but we’re really excited to share it with Melbourne,” says Devin.
“We adopt a simple approach to our daily coffee menu, so instead of ordering based upon the style of coffee such as a latte or flat white, we serve each coffee in one way as either black, milk, or filter, and let the variance be in the blend, flavour, or origin.
“This means the way your coffee is served is consistent every time you visit, but you’re also able to choose the way it tastes – maybe one day you’ll have a blend that tastes like chocolate, and the next day you’ll have a blend that tastes like strawberries and cream.”
forzen reserve menu similIn addition to this daily coffee menu, Ona Coffee Melbourne will also offer a special “reserve menu” of frozen coffee beans.
Having opened Ona Coffee Sydney with a reserve menu in 2018, the offering of frozen coffee beans is now a standard across all of the Ona Coffee venues.
“The reserve menu allows us to take coffee beans that are rare, exciting, and may not be normally served in a café and share them with our customers whenever we like,” says Devin.
“Vacuum sealing and freezing the beans at low temperature significantly slows down the ageing process, so we don’t have to worry about these coffees getting old, stale, and losing their flavour.
“What you get instead of a ‘normal’ coffee menu is one that reads more like a wine list, broken down by origin and flavour profile. It gives the customer more choice and helps everyone to learn more about where coffee comes from, and what different coffee varietals taste like.”
The all-day food menu will also have a simplistic but specialised approach, with an emphasis on fermented ingredients, preserves, and vegan food.
Founder and CEO of Ona Coffee, Saša Šestić says a significant part of creating the Melbourne café and training space was a focus on community.
“In our other cafés and across all Ona Coffee’s partner cafés, we’ve always had a primary focus on supporting local community, other businesses, and our neighbours,” Saša says.
“We’re looking to continue that focus on community in this Brunswick venue, and want to make sure that every person that walks through our doors feels that they’re in a space that represents Melbourne and the high standard of coffee the city maintains.”
The Ovens Street venue also has a large focus on sustainability, with environmentally-friendly energy and a range of recycled materials being used in the construction and operations.
“Sustainability is one of the most important facets of the way we operate our venues, and we know how important it is for the Brunswick community,” says Caity.
“Each aspect of the café was examined to find the most eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives. This has included solar panels to power the building, induction heating for the kitchen in favour of gas, recycled materials to build the interior, recycled paper for the menus, and more.”
Ona Coffee Melbourne is located at 22 Ovens St, Brunswick and will be open seven days.