The first time Hannah Lancman and Parv Bhullar were offered the space for Capeside Coffee they turned it down. At just under five square metres they decided the Heidelberg site was too small. Then Lancman spent some time in New York.
“I came back with re-imagined ideas about what we could do,” she says. “New York is nothing like Melbourne in terms of big cafes. Everything’s in a smaller space – you don’t need to offer every food and drink possible to make it work.”
Capeside has one floating Tasmanian-oak counter and one round communal table. Both sit on top of a polished concrete floor. Coffee is by Seven Seeds. They can’t fit a kitchen in, but there’s muesli in the morning, and cakes and pastries all day. For lunch there’s sandwiches: one with roast-vegetable and goat’s-cheese, and one with ham, cheddar, homemade pickles and mustard.
“The idea is to start small and go from there,” says Lancman. She hints there’ll soon be a sandwich made with Cumulus' famous lamb shoulder.
Capeside is near Heidelberg station opposite a primary school, and at the base of an apartment building, so foot traffic is not going to be an issue. What’s more, there’s nothing like it nearby, coffee wise.
“We really want to get the specialty side of things into this area,” says Lancman. “In terms of the quality of our service and product, no one else is doing it around here yet. We really stand out.”