Community is at the heart of First Order Coffee, the newest cafe in the growing Flinders Street precinct.
Owner Anya Sereda used the talents of friends and family to help establish the business, which sits at the Ifould Street entrance to WOTSO Workspace, a multipurpose co-working space. “My mum makes our ceramics,” Sereda says, as she points to a stack of brightly coloured plates and cups. She’s focused on sourcing local. Coffee beans are roasted by Elementary Coffee, just a 15-minute walk down the road.
The expansive space is bright and airy, with natural light streaming in against white walls. But it wasn’t always so charming. Look up to the ceiling and you’ll see traces of the industrial building that was once a laboratory. “They used to make sunscreen in here,” Sereda says. “When we arrived, it was a dump. There was rubbish everywhere.” But Sereda saw past the mess to a place with potential.
Designer Mitch Martin of Masamune has created a sense of cosiness in the sprawling space (which is shared with florist Austin Bloom). A cube-like wooden frame, warm lights, pot plants and a large, vivid painting by artist Sam Mulcahy fill the space. The chairs and tables were built by Sereda’s partner, Ryan Knapp, but he’s no carpenter. “He’s actually a park ranger,” Sereda says, laughing. “The beauty of this whole project has been people coming together, who have never done this before, and just taking a chance.”
Sereda took a chance when returning to Adelaide after living abroad. Like so many, she worked the hospitality circuit to support herself while at university, but soon fell in love with the industry and decided to open her own business. In South America, Sereda visited coffee production and processing facilities to learn about exportation. “It reignites the passion when you understand that side of it,” she says. This established an ethos that underpins the menu at First Order Coffee. “You get a very different understanding of how much a coffee is worth.”
Born in Russia and raised in Australia, Sereda, with chef Joel van Bussel, designed the menu to reflect her Eastern-European background. Ingredients such as quark, pickles and buckwheat are staples. “We have semolina porridge, which every child in Russia grew up eating,” Sereda says. It’s served with poached pear, spiced sugar syrup and toasted seeds. The concise breakfast and lunch menu also features eggs on toast with fried brussels sprouts; a roasted broccolini sandwich with iceberg, bean puree and bacon; and smoked Wagyu beef, boiled egg, relish and pickles.
The focus is on seasonal and local produce, sourced partly from the Adelaide Showground Farmer’s Market. Other local suppliers include Tweedvale Milk and Barossa Fine Foods. The specialty Eastern European products come from Mozaika in Hackney.
Peanut butter cups and whoopie pies are made in-house, and croissants come from Sugar Man. Doughnuts are delivered fresh every Friday from Elementary Coffee, in flavours such as pistachio and raspberry, and maple bacon.
From suppliers to collaborators to the community of workers inside WOTSO and the surrounding businesses, the cafe is truly a joint production. “For me, the experience has been made really amazing by the people,” says Sereda, “… the community coming together.”
First Order Coffee
217 Flinders Street, Adelaide (Ifould Street entrance)
Mon to Fri 7.30am–3.30pm