With dietary requirements dictating where we choose to eat a lot more these days, it’s exciting to find a place that caters to intolerances or allergies. The gluten-free diet has become popular; a serious health issue for some, lifestyle choice for others and a punchline for many. Thornbury’s Kitschen Pantry became well known for specialising in gluten-free eating, but has recently been taken over, rebuilt, and rebranded as Jerry Joy. But locals need not worry – these guys know how to do wheat-free to a tee.
“Kitschen Pantry was so well known, a lot of people were devastated when we started building,” says owner Seona Breen. “We just wanted people to give us a chance. And six weeks in, I definitely think we’ve won people over.” Jerry Joy is brightly lit with wide windows and open spaces. Its white walls and pale floorboards combine to create a modern feel with some retro fittings such as the hanging light bulbs and mint-green coffee machine. The glass cabinet displays a decadent selection of house-made sweets covered in edible florals alongside classics such as caramel slices and brownies.
Serving a slightly different demographic than at her previous cafe, The Foodrinkery, Breen and partner Damien, have created a space they’d want to go to for a meal as a family with two young children. “What we want to do is make dining simple and accessible to everyone. We want prams to have space to come in, we want to provide something for the kids to do and eat while the parents are getting a coffee, provide a menu that’s not a standard cafe bacon and eggs or eggs benedict menu – something a bit more foodie.”
The menu strays off the beaten track with options such as the spiced beetroot and lentil fritters with roasted capsicum hummus; a sardine ceviche with a beetroot and potato gratin and poached egg; and apple almond pikelets with yoghurt foam for those who want something a bit more adventurous for brunch. The lunch fare features beef ragu with kohlrabi and celeriac rosti and a white-bean puree and a raw pad Thai salad with optional poached chicken.
128 Mansfield Street, Thornbury