Fluffy, toasted crumpets dripping with honey and butter are a sticky-fingered childhood classic. And Holy Crumpets – Melbourne’s first dedicated crumpet cafe – is serves a plumper, grown-up wholesome spin from their tiny shop on Little La Trobe Street.
Owner Josh Clements grew up in Gippsland with seven siblings, and his mum often baked up to five loaves of bread for the family each day. Most of their fruit and vegetables were homegrown too. The hands-on Clements family approach holds true at Holy Crumpets. The base crumpet recipe and method took six months to master and is made using whole-wheat and freshly-milled stoneground flour. It’s a 24-hour process to prepare the dough.
In one crumpet, carrot juice substitutes for water in the original recipe. It comes with cream cheese and candied walnuts, and joins other bountiful, regularly rotating specials, like the chocolate crumpet with toasted marshmallow and biscuit crumb. For a savoury option, try one with grilled taleggio – it’s theatrically flamed in front of you and finished with caramelised onions, a sprinkle of thyme and a drizzle of honey.
As well as adventurous toppings there’s a niche exploration of locally made honey. There are six varieties to choose from, mostly sourced from renowned Melbourne beekeeper Robert Redpath’s Lygon Street shop, Bee Sustainable.
Most varieties of honey at Holy Crumpets are Victorian, with the occasional interstate selection. Other accompanying spreads include jams, peanut butters and chocolate hazelnut, all of which are available to purchase by the jar. You can also grab a half-dozen box of un-toasted crumpets to take home too (just order ahead as stock is limited).
The CBD shop is tiny – about 6 metres squared – and Clements considers it more of a product testing ground than a full cafe offering. A 10-litre honey drum sits next to two staff members who work snuggly side-by-side, grilling and topping the crumpets and making Wood & Co coffee. Outside, two low benches comfortably seat three people each, and another four customers can pull up a stool at the L-shaped bar.