You can put all kinds of things in shipping containers. Even, it turns out, a cafe. That's what husband and wife Rani and Christine Ousman have done. After running Deluxe & Co Beverage Catering for the past four years, the pair has taken a 20-foot shipping container, plonked it down in the middle of Alexandria's Heritage Business Park and tricked it out as a very pleasant cafe.
“We designed the concept some time ago, and then we just waited until we found the right location,” says Christine. “And we've found a great location here. We're between two business parks, and there's really no other food or coffee places close to us.”
A cafe in a shipping container presents some obvious challenges. The Grind & Co has managed these by finding the right appliances and by using every inch of space available. The best example of this is the vertical herb garden that adorns the outside of the container. “We've got the cooktop and the flat grill and the oven and the freezers – everything is in there.”
The Grind & Co will serve its own house-blend coffee, crafted after years of experience in the coffee-cart business. “We've run Deluxe & Co for the past four years now, and we've been working on our own blend for the past two years, so we're happy with it now,” says Christine.
The food menu will feature sourdough sandwiches, baguettes, wraps and salads, all made on-site. There are also plans for Friday barbeques and some Middle Eastern fare, inspired by Christine's heritage. “There will be a take on the kind of food I grew up with, but we'll give it a twist and a modern feel.”
The Grind & Co
5–9 Ricketty Street, Alexandria
Mon to Fri 7am–4pm