A passion to “pull all the right strings” and a love of fairy tales is what inspired owner Ed Cutcliffe to open The Little Marionette café in Sydney’s Inner West back in early 2010.
Previously working in wholesale, Ed wanted to share his love of specialty coffee and involve customers in the process. “It’s about bringing the bean to life and really making the most of something that is so small,” Ed says. An animated skyline, revolving bookcase and a secret passageway are the things Ed dreamt of as a child and are brought to life here.
The charming café attracts everyone from suburban families to urban-hipsters, artists and writers. Indie-folk band Boy & Bear are frequent weekend sippers and have had several album covers shot there. “It’s an awesome, interesting mix of regulars and very chilled out. Boy & Bear are always having their band meetings here,” Manager Pete avard says.
A limited breakfast and lunch menu means there’s not much to distract from the brew. Toasted sandwiches and tempting pastries from a local patisserie provide light accompaniments.
The back room is home to where the beans are roasted to perfection. The house blend is supplied to a number of other cafés in the city, and is a four-bean blend that usually consists of a few South American
single origins and a lightly roasted African bean. The result is a mellow, nutty, dark flavour that Pete describes as “super easy to drink”.
Behind the bar, a handsome set of baristas work quickly behind the La Marzocco and each have the opportunity to interact with the customers. “I’m all about creating a fun and interesting space and I hope customers can share that with us,” Ed says.