There’s a rawness to the newly opened Two Chaps in Marrickville. It sports wall-mounted bikes, an open galley kitchen and exposed steel shelves stocked with huge bags of flour. Acting as a cafe-cum-headquarters for co-owners Piero Pignatti Morano and Richie Maxfield, the duo behind Sticky Chai is using the space to make and sell its spiced, honey-soaked tea.
“It’s first and foremost an industrial space for us to make our tea and coffee, so it’s purpose built for those things,” says Morano, referring also to the pair’s new Blind Man Coffee label which they are roasting themselves. His background building bikes for Deus Ex Machina and Maxfield’s experience as a coffee technician meant they took to the former welding shop with ease. “We work on our motorbikes and bicycles here, so it’s fun for us to hang out in. I spent my whole weekend here working on stuff.”
Morano and Maxfield moved their business from a converted stable at the foothills of the Blue Mountains, and the handy pair have spent six months fitting-out their new workspace. “It’s just the two of us, so we buy everything second hand,” Morano says of their pre-loved oven, windows and seating parts, framed by The Fresh Prince of Bondi’s recycled timber planter boxes. “The coffee industry is pretty wasteful, so we pick up the scraps and fix them.”
Their back-to-basics approach extends to the food offering. “We try to make everything from scratch. Most of our produce is organic, from reasonably close by, or made by us,” Morano says of the Mediterranean-influenced vegetarian menu featuring daily house-made cakes and muffins, two seasonal salads and two sandwiches, filled with the likes of fried egg with beetroot relish and pecorino. Morano bakes all the bread himself on-site; there is a durum semolina loaf or ciabatta using white or wholemeal organic stone-milled flour. “I’m producing something wholesome and good. The food is very humble.”
Two Chaps is also open two evenings per week (Thursdays and Fridays) for dinner, serving fresh pasta and local cheeses.
Two Chaps 122 Chapel Street, Marrickville
Hours Mon to Fri 7am–3pm Thurs & Fri 6-9.30pm