Owner-operator Ben Whitaker moved to Melbourne from New Zealand where he had a successful family-run cafe under the tutelage of the Coffee Supreme roasting house. The Final Step fills a tiny retail space off Toorak Road and it definitely stands out with its uncharacteristic laid back folksy vibe.
The tiny indoor space is dominated by its central communal table as well as the eye-catching vintage piano (which doubles as a bench for customers). Coffee is by Seven Seeds and Ben serves these in a couple of interesting options, including the ‘Confused Peruvian’, a pre-infused coffee with a higher dose that comes out full of crema and almost soupy in texture.
The Final Step also does pastries, prepared by Ben’s pastry chef sister, but has a BYO lunch policy for patrons who want something heartier. What people come back for though, is Ben’s friendly approach and his way of making every customer feel like a regular, a point of difference that makes this little cafe an alluring choice in the wasteland of impersonal service and mass-produced coffee that Toorak Road can often feel like.