“I wanted something on the water, and there aren’t many cafes on the water around here,” says surfer and ex Seven Seeds barista Tom Sereika, owner of Torquay’s newest cafe Pond.
In a town known mostly as one of Victoria’s premier surf destinations and the epicentre of much of the industry of surf brands and retailers, Torquay has constant buzz of surfers, weekenders and holiday makers moving through the town. As a gateway to the Great Ocean Road and one of the state’s most picturesque coastlines, Torquay is often just a roadside stop off.
But the last few years has seen this beachside town’s local population grow tenfold, with city slickers opting for sea change and moving towards surrounding areas like Barwon Heads, Point Lonsdale and even Geelong.
With this wave is 27-year old local, Sereika, a carpenter by trade who previously spent years working as a barista at Seven Seeds and De Clieu in Melbourne, roasting and brewing beans.
“I love working hospitality, there’s just something about it…but I still always wanted to live down at the beach, and kept a house down here even when I was working in the city,” he says.
The beachside cafe opened late in November, just in time for summer’s influx of tourists ready for a heady fix of strong city coffee. Serving a Seven Seeds blend from a large La Marzocco coffee machine, Pond sits perched on the corner of Torquay’s Esplanade, with a large communal table and a few smaller ones inside and out, overlooking the ocean. Serving a small but fresh breakfast and lunch menu of sandwiches (ham, chicken and brisket), a summer salad, and some eggy breakfast options, Pond is a welcome addition to Torquay, particularly after a morning wave.