When asked to describe the most unique characteristic of Pango café, Chloe Strachan, one part of the trio who opened the venue, says it is the genuine sense of community.
“Pango is run by my sister Tash, her partner Cody, and myself. My sister runs the floor and a lot of the local children in the area recognise her and bring her little flowers. They come in just to see her, and quite often you’ll see her with a child on her hip, taking orders behind the register,” Chloe says.
“One of the things we’re really learning through COVID-19 is that we are really a central hub for the community. During [last] lockdown we started thinking how we could support our customers more and began offering pilates sessions and live music.”
Pango is the third venue opened by the team in the space of four years.
“It’s been a speedy expansion. We opened Kodama Coffee in 2016 then about two years later we opened Boma Coffee, and within six months to a year we opened Pango,” Chloe says.
“Each of our venues has a link to each of our heritages. Tash and I are originally from Zimbabwe in Africa and Cody is from New Zealand. The term black coffee in Maori is ‘kawhe pango’ so we decided to keep the pango part of the phrase.”
For coffee, Pango serves up Industry Beans’ Fitzroy Blend, alongside a selection of rotating single origins that are chosen weekly by the head barista.
“The Fitzroy blend just made the most sense to us and we really love it,” says Chloe.
“It was something we really thought the customer base wouldn’t be alienated by and is just a really easy to drink blend.”
Chloe says menu favourites across all three venues include the café’s chilli scrambled eggs with crispy shallots, parmesan, coriander, green onion and whipped feta on sourdough.
“I also have to call out our pasta dishes, which we’ve recently just expanded into. We’re doing some really beautiful dishes, like venison ragu pappardelle,” she says.
Looking to the future, Chloe says she is excited to continue creating a sense of community, and building on the expanding dinner service and Sunday afternoon sessions.
24 Hall Street,
Newport, Victoria, 3015
Open Monday to Friday 7am – 2:30pm
Saturday and Sunday 8am – 2:30pm, Wednesday to Sunday 5pm – late
This article appears in the OCTOBER 2021 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.