Ever since Cafe Grenadine closed suddenly nine months ago, Camp Hill locals have eagerly awaited a replacement. Finally, the white 1930s cottage reopened mid-August to reveal a new all-day cafe, Florence.
“[We’ve had] a really nice response [from the locals],” says Elizabeth Florence, who co-owns the cafe with Sam Pethely. “People really value having something close to home that they can wander down to.”
Florence and Pethely met when they worked together at Felix for Goodness in the CBD, which Pethely co-owns. Florence showed up at Felix asking for a job, a bottle of homemade kasundi (a tomato and mustard chutney) in her hands. They bonded over the wholesome and nourishing food that Felix has become known for, and wanted to bring a similar food philosophy to the suburbs. When Grenadine closed they jumped at the opportunity to pick up the tenancy.
Initially, Florence and Pethely thought the space had “good bones” and weren’t going to change much. “Then we started working with [architect] Peter Kuhnell and he did up some stunning drawings,” Pethely says. “It was hard to say no.”
They ended up knocking down a wall, ripping up floorboards to reveal checkered lino tiles, and installing custom-made timber features from local furniture maker Talty Sargent. The exterior of the building has stayed as is, except for the addition of street-side dining and a takeaway coffee hatch that serves coffee from Parallel Roasters.
The all-day breakfast menu includes cauliflower bhaji fritters and breakfast cannoli with whipped vanilla ricotta, burnt orange and macadamia. A breakfast roll with scrambled eggs, bacon and silverbeet helps trace Florence and Pethely’s history together; it comes layered in the aforementioned kasundi.
Much of the produce on the menu – including many of the ferments and pickles – are available to buy from the cafe’s small deli section. Top picks include red sauerkraut, kimchi and the nut cheeses.
“If you’ve got the family coming over on a Sunday morning, you can grab [some items from the deli] and put on a spread,” Pethely says. “Even though you haven’t really done anything, you can claim it as your own.”