Three new spaces by husband-and-wife team Blake Rix and Mel Kendrick have opened in Engadine.
After 15 years in the coffee industry, Rix launched his own specialty-coffee business, Drumroll Coffee Roasters, in 2015. A cafe was the obvious next step.
“We wanted to open the cafe as a way to get the coffee out there,” says Kendrick. “When the three shopfronts came on the market we thought it would be a great way to house Drumroll next to a cafe, and be able to run a creative studio fairly seamlessly out of the same operation.”
Hugh John Manors is warm and inviting, with high ceilings, large windows and a comfortable layout peppered with plants.
The all-day menu isn’t overcrowded and offers fresh and original dishes. Standouts include a chicken-and-nectarine salad with toasted macadamia nuts and maple-sesame dressing. And a sandwich of ham off the bone with pickles and house mayo. Persian love cake and peanut-butter cookies are all made in-house. Drinks such as mango-passionfruit smoothies and coconut-and-watermelon juice arrive at tables dressed like tropical cocktails.
At Drumroll next door the beans are packed and sent to cafes in Avalon, the CBD, Canberra and on the Coal Coast. The current main blend is made up of Ethiopian, Timorese and Guatemalan beans; the flavour profile is fruit-driven sweetness, milk chocolates and caramels. It also roasts a rotating selection of single-origin coffees. “Drumroll Coffee Roasters is about combining the best of old-school philosophy with new-school theory,” says Rix. “We train our baristas in traditional techniques and at the same time we’re always experimenting with the sourcing and roasting methods of our specialty coffee.”
As well as running Hugh John Manors and Drumroll Coffee Roasters, Rix and Kendrick have launched One Off Studio next door. The space offers creative workshops and classes, such as watercolour painting, creative writing, ceramics and basket weaving.
Hugh John Manors Shop 2/37–39 Cambrai Avenue, Engadine
Hours: Mon to Fri 6am–2pm Sat & Sun 7am–12pm