The Craft & Co
There’s no fast or easy way to explain The Craft & Co. The two-storey warehouse contains a cafe, restaurant, bar, 120-litre distillery, 1000-litre brewery, wood-fired bakery – still with us? – bottle shop, deli, Enoteca Sileno-like grocery store, cheese-making room, charcuterie-making room and six-kilogram coffee roaster.
Owner Paul Baggio has been running wholesale food and beverage companies since the late ‘90s, supplying equipment, packaging and marketing advice to cheese factories, bakers, breweries, wineries and the like. The Craft & Co brings all his accumulated expertise to bear.
Its various facets are staffed by a rotating roster of aspiring “makers”, who produce most of the in-house products, from beer and vodka, to cheese and coffee. Pairing these is a core aim – if the brewery has just made a citrus-driven pale ale, fish spiked with coriander might be on the menu.
The central kitchen is overseen by permanent chef Dom Marzano, who gives the menu an Italian slant (his last gig was at Grossi Florentino) with dishes such as ricotta gnocchi and arancini backed by lamb ribs; a steak sandwich; and spaghetti marinara. Then there are three simple pizzas and 30-gram serves of house-made charcuterie or cheese.
Breakfast is a bit harder to pigeonhole, with a zucchini-and-mint omelette appearing next to toast dishes, Bircher muesli and a long list of sides.
By night, there’s a lengthy spirits list, wines from mostly young vineyards and plenty of craft beer. With the exception of Tromba tequila, everything is made in Australia.
The Craft & Co also owns a 40-acre site at Patterson Lakes, where up-and-coming winemakers cultivate vines, livestock is raised and hops and vegetables are grown.